Longtime Hammond fire chief retires, two firefighters promoted • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Hammond Fire Department

Longtime Hammond fire chief retires, two firefighters promoted

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Upon the retirement of Fire Chief Jeff Smith, firefighters Bernard Grisolia and David Weisz were promoted to top department positions.

Smith announced his retirement from the Hammond Fire Department earlier this year after 32 years of service, with 12.5 of those as fire chief.

“Chief Smith has served the city, its residents and the fire department for decades, and although we will miss Jeff, we wish him the best in his retirement, which is well deserved,” Mayor Thomas McDermott said in a press release.

In Smith’s place, McDermott promoted Bernard Grisolia to fire chief. Grisolia has been deputy chief for three years. He joined the fire department in 2008, and has served many ranks within the department. Grisolia earned a bachelor’s degree in fire administration and holds multiple fire certifications.

“Bernie’s knowledge, ability, teamwork and dedication to the Hammond Fire Department are exemplary, and the decision to name him chief was clear,” McDermott said.

David Weisz, current assistant chief drillmaster, was selected as the new deputy fire chief. Weisz joined the Hammond Fire Department in 2006. He was promoted to assistant chief drillmaster in 2021. Weisz earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and has multiple fire certifications as well.

“Chief Weisz is an outstanding firefighter, community member and an example that hard work and dedication are recognized within the department,” McDermott said.

The Hammond Fire Department serves the city’s nearly 80,000 residents. It is also responsible for emergency needs on the Indiana Toll Road and Interstate 80/94. The full-time department employs 150 firefighters at six firehouses.

(Photo provided by the Hammond Fire Department)

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