Welcome to the job.
Tuesday officially was the first day on the job for Independence Fire Chief John Greene, and the end of the workday brought a large bucket of ice water down on his head.
“Cold – but it actually feels good today,” Greene said after the ice-bucket event on a hot August afternoon.
“Very refreshing,” echoed Assistant Chief Mark Carrick.
They were among five Independence Fire Department chiefs taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which is raising awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Here’s how it works: You take the challenge and typically post a video of it. (The videos are all over Facebook and news sites, including www.examiner.net and our Facebook page.) Then you challenge someone else. Independence Police Chief Tom Dailey, for example, took the challenge last Friday and called out Greene and others. On Tuesday, Greene took the challenge along with Assistant Chief Tom Lay, Assistant Chief Mark Carrick, Battalion Chief David Shelley and acting Deputy Chief Doug Short.
Greene challenged three others in area fire protection districts: Central Jackson County Deputy Chief Todd Farley (who actually took the challenge earlier in the day), Fort Osage Chief John Yocum, and Johnson County (Kan.) Chief Tony Lopez.
Although Tuesday was Greene’s first official as fire chief, he had been the acting chief since Chief Sandy Schiess retired in May. Greene, an Independence native, has been with the department for 27 years.
The challenge, generally involving local and national celebrities, has taken off in recent weeks, and the ALS Association – go to www.alsa.org/ to donate – says donations are up sharply. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that robs the brain of the ability to control muscle movement. It can lead to total paralysis.