Gregory H. Grayson has 35 years of progressive experience in the North Carolina fire and rescue service. His experience includes beginning public service as a volunteer firefighter and ascending the career ranks to become the Fire Marshal/Fire Rescue Director for Wake County, North Carolina. In the following seventeen years, he served as the fire chief for three North Carolina urban cities – Burlington, Asheville and Greensboro. In these executive leadership capacities, he was responsible for comprehensive fire and rescue operations, prevention programs, training and career development, emergency management functions and specialized regional response teams. In Burlington, he effectively led positive organizational change and implemented an innovative reserve firefighter program. In Asheville, he commanded significant re-engineering throughout the fire department and led Asheville to become an accredited agency. In Greensboro, he led the department to maintaining both accreditation and ISO “Class1” status and navigated the department through difficult fiscal years and challenging large scale emergencies. In 2015, his long-term, dedicated public service to the people of North Carolina was recognized by the Governor through the prestigious “Order of the Long Leaf Pine”, the state’s highest honor that can be awarded to a citizen.
Upon retiring from local government service, Chief Grayson was appointed by the State Fire Marshal in 2015 to proactively serve as the state’s first and only public fire service management consultant, providing high level technical assistance to county and municipal managers - enabling them to better strengthen their jurisdiction’s fire protection service delivery systems. He also managed statewide fire service advancement initiatives and led the NC Office of State Fire Marshal Technical Services program.
Beyond extensive experience, Chief Grayson holds a master of public administration, bachelor and associate in fire protection. He holds numerous professional credentials including Chief Fire Officer (CFO), MIFireE from the Institution of Fire Protection Engineers and multiple other fire service certifications, including being North Carolina’s first Advanced Firefighter. He is one of very few, if not the only, Fire Chief in the United States to also hold the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM-SCP credentials. He is active in the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs and the IAFC Metropolitan Fire Chiefs organizations and continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter in his home community.
Chief Grayson is boldly focused on continuous improvement in direct service delivery and is very outcome oriented. His unique, diverse combination of extensive county, municipal and state government experience, solid background of education, training and professional credentials coupled with his long-term demonstrated work performance and professionalism have earned him recognition throughout the state and across the nation as a subject matter expert in the fire and rescue industry.