LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) — Liberty’s new fire chief took an oath of office Friday.

Douglas Theobald was the chief in Newton Falls for five years. He takes over in Liberty in the new year.

Current chief Gus Birch is retiring after 41 years in the fire service. Liberty trustees honored him for his 27 years there, including eight as chief.

“I just felt that it was time, you know, it’s time for me to step down, enjoy my family and just enjoy life,” Birch said.

“I’m very excited to come here, these are an outstanding group of firefighters and officers who do a terrific job every single day,” Theobald said.

Liberty trustees Arnie Cleobone and Greg Cizmar along with new police officers Kenneth Griffin and Timothy Riley were also sworn in.