–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: AUG 14, 2018
Deputy Fire Chief Chris Nye
“I come from a public service background,” stated Deputy Chief Chris Nye of the Sylvania Township Fire Department. “My mom was a nurse for 45 years at Riverside Hospital before it closed. My dad was a police officer. My grandparents lived close to fire station number 3. I would always go hang around that station. It was there I fell in love with the profession. I also fell in love with the thought of being a police officer but my dad steered me toward firefighting.” Deputy Chief Nye believes his career path was meant to be. “When I turned 40, my grandparents passed away. My sister and I were going through my old pictures and we found one of me when I was little holding a fire truck. Unbeknown to me, my sister blew up the photo with the caption, “One day I will drive one of these.”
Deputy Chief Nye truly loves his career although it comes with challenges. “The environment is dynamic and ever-changing,” he said. “The challenges are different day to day and from call to call. Our world is a whole lot different than when I started 30 years ago. We are now covering such things as bomb threats and hazardous materials. We do everything from fires to getting baby ducks unstuck out of the sewer. If someone can’t figure it out and doesn’t know where to turn, they call 911.”
The Deputy Chief also believes he gets to wake up and head to the best job imaginable. “The most amazing thing we do is to help people in their time of need. When people call 911, 99 percent of the time, it’s the worst day of their life. When we can make them
situation better, it’s very rewarding.”
Here to help
One item the Chief Deputy would like to stress to Sylvanians is how they can help reduce risk. “The fire department is here to help them and we would love Sylvanians to be proactive in risk prevention,” he stated. “Smoke detectors save lives. Old smoke detectors do not. They do not work if you don’t change batteries.”
The future is bright
The Deputy Chief is not thinking of retiring any time soon. “I plan on continuing for another 5-8 years,” he said. “ When I started at the fire department, my dad was active in the Toledo Patrolman Association. I spent 17 years as our union president and am the longest serving representative until I was promoted to deputy chief. I’m proud to say, overall, we have had good labor and management relations while I was the representative,” he said.
“I love my job as deputy chief of operations, which means I handle all the day to day operations, payroll, employment and anything that does not include community risk prevention and fire prevention,” he explained.
Chief Deputy Nye lives in Sylvania and has been married to wife Barbara, a Sylvania native, for 30 years. The couple has three children. Daughter Brooke is a 28-year-old Southview and Ohio State University graduate who is a district merchant for Macy’s. Chelsea, a 25-year-old Northview High School and Bowling Green State University graduate, is a sixth-grade math teacher in the Springfield School District. Son Nick, age 21, will be a junior at the University of Cincinnati studying criminal justice.
“My hobbies are outdoorsy. I love everything from winter sports to officiating soccer,” Nye stated. “I’m also a trustee for Sylvania United Church of Christ and on the board of Sylvania Area Family Services. I plan on continuing being involved in the community and eventually plan on enjoying a long, healthy retirement.”
2 thoughts on “Sylvania’s Superheroes: Honoring Those Who Serve – Deputy Fire Chief Chris Nye”
Our family has been part of the Sylvania Fire Department station 2 family since it was built in the 1950s. Daddy, Deputy Chief Leo Wittscheck retired in the 70s. Thank you for your passion to serve.
Thanks for your service Chief. I served at Sylvania Station 2 as a volunteer from 1962 to 1966. I then went on to a full time career. Never forgot those lessons from Sylvania. Our best to everyone and stay safe.