Greensboro Fire Chief Bobby Nugent on Tuesday, Sept. 2 announced he would be retiring on Jan. 31, 2021.

Nugent has been Greensboro’s number one firefighter since February 2016 and has served in the Greensboro Fire Department for nearly 42 years.

Nugent joined the Greensboro Fire Department in 1979 and served at every rank moving up the ladder to chief. When he joined the Fire Department it had about 250 employees; as chief he supervises over 600 firefighters.

Nugent was responsible for the replacement of the Public Safety Training Facility fire tower on Church Street, which had been in use since 1956. The new tower just opened in August. Every firefighter currently in the department had trained on the old tower.

In a press release, Greensboro City Manager David Parrish said, “Chief Nugent’s numerous contributions to the City are invaluable. Time and again he has proven to the right leader. During his time as chief, he led with a spirit of excellence, advancing fire service to new heights. Bobby is a servant leader whose stewardship resulted in the betterment of our community. The investments he made in our people and facilities will be evident for years to come.”

The Greensboro Fire Department’s Class 1 ISO rating and International Accreditation status places it in the top 1 percent of more than 45,000 fire departments in the country. Maintaining those high standards makes Greensboro safer, but there is another benefit, which is that insurance premiums for home and business owners are lower because the Greensboro Fire Department is so highly rated.

Greensboro has also been rated as one of the best places in the country to have a heart attack, in part because of the training and response times of the Fire Department’s emergency medical teams.

Nugent said, “While I look forward to spending more time with my family, I will always treasure the days where I was involved in what can only be described as the greatest job in the world. No fire department can succeed by itself. The support from the firefighters, the city manager’s office, City Council as well as the residents of the City of Greensboro has been the foundation of the department’s continued success. As my career with the Greensboro fire department comes to an end, I leave with the confidence that the department will continue to be led by dedicated, motivated and professional leaders.”