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Fire department may add an assistant chief
The Franklin Township Fire Department may add an assistant chief position to their ranks.
Township trustees sat down with Fire Chief Richard Howard during a Sept. 2 special meeting to discuss the possibility of installing the promotable position into the fire department.
Howard has researched this project for about nine months now, and said this was not to add a totally new position, but instead, consolidate the current EMS/training coordinator.
If enacted, the assistant chief would absorb the responsibilities of the EMS coordinator, privacy officer, and the duties of the chief if he were on any type of temporary leave.
“Assistant chief position would give them the atomicity to say ‘this is the way it’s going to be, make it happen,’” Howard said.
According to Howard, this position would give the department more room to function on an administrative level.
He added that many times his presence is required at such events as federal grant meetings, where his absence costs the department opportunities for additional funding.
“I can’t be at two places at one time,” Howard said.
Additionally, with the casino on its way, Howard feels this additional figure would allow them to “stay on top of it, not under it.”
In addition to assisting with administrative duties, the trustees agreed this would lend a new incentive for skilled officers to stay with the township, instead of losing them to outside communities where higher positions are available.
“In my opinion, this isn’t to give incentives, it’s to make Franklin Township better,” Howard said.
Howard expressed that installing an assistant chief would not just be an incentive, but gives officers the opportunity to be promoted and give the township opportunities of more services like public outreach.
If instated, the assistant chief would be chosen by a specific list of criteria such as time as a captain and being licensed as a paramedic along with mandatory testing.
“The bottom line is to be a professional now it amounts to having a continuing education,” Trustee Paul Johnson said.
Howard wished to see if this was something the trustees wished to move forward with and are interested in.
The board of trustees said they do not disagree with the points Howard made, but have further questions and would like to digest the material.
Also, Howard would like to bring the firefighter’s union into the matter.
“Obviously the union’s got to be on board,” Howard said.
“I think we should move forward and look at this,” Johnson said.
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