Fire chief volunteers for love of holiday spirit


When Holiday in the City was revitalized a few years ago, the addition of a fireworks show required the services of then Fire Marshal Nick Heimlich.

“I got started principally with other city officials to appropriately navigate public safety,” he said. “But after doing this for a while, you get hooked into the holiday spirit.”

Heimlich, who is now the city’s fire chief, has been volunteering for the event ever since, and has worked on many components beyond the fireworks. The planning work begins in June with brainstorming sessions and logistics. He enjoys it so much that he asked to be added as a member of the standing committee.

“At one point, the coordination of building lighting could only be done with our radios, so I arranged that. We have also used a fire engine to bring Santa downtown during the parade,” he said. This year he is also the service coordinator for the surprise Santa visits.

The excitement in his voice when he talks about the fireworks reflects his love of the event.

“When the sun goes down, the winds tend to quiet, like the weather is taking a sigh, offering the perfect moment to launch the fireworks show. We have to wait until just a few minutes before we begin the show and evaluate the situation to control for potential drift,” he said.

Heimlich keeps coming back because he knows he is helping bring vitality to the downtown and is creating a positive experience for the thousands of people who attend every year.

“I have had the unique experience of standing in the crowd as their excitement grows and standing right next to the fireworks as they go off,” he said. “It’s rewarding and personally satisfying – there are lots of little moments that I enjoy. I’m just glad to be a part.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Pike County murders: Would investigation be priority for next Ohio Attorney General?
Pike County murders: Would investigation be priority for next Ohio Attorney General?

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine hopes the Pike County murders — the largest investigation in state history — will be closed by the time he leaves office in January. DeWine last year said he hoped to solve the April 22, 2016 shootings before leaving the attorney general’s office. REPORT: Pike County murders: 8 deaths, 2 years, no...
Who is Travis Reinking, the person of interest in the Waffle House shooting?
Who is Travis Reinking, the person of interest in the Waffle House shooting?

Travis Reinking is a 29-year-old man police are seeking in Sunday morning’s shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee. Police issued a murder warrant for Reinking late Sunday morning. Little information has been released by authorities about Reinking, who is from Morton, Illinois.  Police said Reinking sat in his truck in the Waffle...
Oxford police troll kids busted for handing cops fake IDs
Oxford police troll kids busted for handing cops fake IDs

Police near Miami University seized at least 16 reportedly fake IDs Friday night. The Oxford Police Department posted an image on Twitter of the allegedly fraudulent IDs. “We didn’t get invited to any parties so we went Uptown last night,” the department posted on Twitter. “Thanks to all those that tried to pass Fake IDs to...
Police investigate murder-suicide in Tulsa 
Police investigate murder-suicide in Tulsa 

Oklahoma police are investigating a murder-suicide in Tulsa after a 44-year-old man reportedly shot and killed a 34-year-old woman before turning the gun on himself. Officers said the investigation began around 11 p.m. Saturday when officers were called to investigate a missing person. The woman's husband reportedly told police that she had disappeared...
Who is James Shaw Jr., the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter?
Who is James Shaw Jr., the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter?

One crowded Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, led Nashville resident James Shaw Jr. to the restaurant where a gunman opened fire early Sunday morning, killing four people. Shaw acted quickly to disarm the gunman and toss the rifle over the counter at the Antioch restaurant, an action police said saved several lives, The Tennessean reported....
More Stories