The Walden Fire Department held an Open House recently and used the event to have a surprise celebration in honor of 1st Asst. Chief Marvin ‘Butch’ Greaves, recognizing his 50+ years of service as a Walden Firefighter.
An engraved firefighter’s ax was given to Greaves as a gift.
Butch was one of the founding members of the Walden Fire Department 52 years ago, starting when he was just 25 years old. At the time, there wasn’t even a fire truck.
In the early days of the department, members went house-to-house to get donations for firefighter equipment, money to pay for fuel, and gear; they held annual auctions and barbecues as fundraisers. One of the first fire trucks was a surplus Army truck with a tank and pump installed, and the folks hired to paint it painted it orange instead of red; it was nicknamed “big ugly.” It wasn’t until 1971 that the Walden Fire Department purchased their first real fire engine.
Greaves served as fire chief from 1974 through 1985. He has continuously served the people of Walden, as well as people in surrounding towns when Mutual Aid has been needed. He currently serves as 1st Asst. Chief under Fire Chief Jason Larrabee. Greaves has also served regionally as 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and President of the Capitol Fire Mutual Aid System.
He is a father and grandfather of current and former Walden Firefighters. His son, Paul C. Greaves, is currently 2nd Asst. Chief in Walden, and his grandson, Brenden Greaves, is a former Walden Firefighter and current Firefighter/EMT with the St. Johnsbury Fire Department.
“All of us as members of the Walden Fire Department could not ever hope to serve with a finer Firefighter than Butch,” noted Elizabeth “Liz” Wilkel, of the Walden Fire Department. “He has mentored each of us bringing his 50+ years of wisdom of structural firefighting and strategy to bear in our responses to both fires and motor vehicle accidents with wisdom, wit and encouragement in a profession that is full of stress, but equally rewarding for a successful save.”