Community honors Chief Grinnell

By Beth A. Birmingham | Oct 18, 2016
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Retired firefighter Paul Doughty, left, and new Warren Fire Chief Greg Andrews, center, listen as retiring Chief Edward Grinnell Jr. thanks the community for their support.

Warren — The Masonic Hall on Camden Road in Warren was packed Oct. 16 as well-wishers were on hand to give thanks to Edward Grinnell Jr. for his 47 years of service at the helm of the Warren Fire Department.

Admittedly, Grinnell was uncomfortable when he first heard about the gathering -- earlier in the day -- as everyone was able to keep it a secret.

The humbled chief addressed the audience after a walk down memory lane via a slide show and several fellow firefighters and colleagues telling stories.

"Over the years I've met a lot of good people," he said with a crackle in his voice. "Not only in the fire department, but people connected to the fire department." He  noted how smoothly the transition has gone with Assistant Fire Chief Greg Andrews taking over the reins. Andrews has been on the fire department for 34 years this month.

Grinnell said many people he had met from his work at the post office were in attendance, as were numerous members of the community who had gotten to know him over the years.

He mentioned  that there have been some serious fires, not only in Warren, but in other local towns.

"But the worst thing probably is accidents," Grinnell said. "We've run into some pretty gruesome things." He said thankfully there have been no fatalities as of late.

"It's been a trip," he said.

Grinnell served for 10 years in various capacities, working his way up through the ranks before being appointed chief in 1979.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

Chief Grinnell presents Warren Ambulance Director Polly Wood with a rose during his retirement party at the Masonic Hall Oct. 16. Wood's husband, Robert, was a fellow firefighter of Grinnell's who died in the line of duty. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Waldoboro Fire Chief Paul Smeltzer, left, congratulates retiring Warren Chief Ed Grinnell on his years of service. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
From left, Paul Doughty, Chief Greg Andrews, and retiring Chief Ed Grinnell are entertained by a story from fellow firefighter Vaughn Saunders. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
One of two cakes to commemorate Chief Ed Grinnell's years of service to the Warren Fire Department. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Longtime friend Tina Bryant gives Chief Ed Grinnell a congratulatory hug at his retirement party Oct. 16 in Warren. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Hanging up his cap, Warren Fire Department Chief Ed Grinnell was honored at a retirement celebration Oct. 16 in Warren. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
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Staff Profile

Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
Email Me

Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.

Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.

Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.

Aside from photography, Beth enjoys working out, ocean therapy sessions and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 16.

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