Firefighters recognized in Franklin Township


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

At a recent Franklin Township board meeting, several firefighters were honored.

Fire Chief Jim Welch recognized  firefighters Nick Thornton, Jason Brockmeyer and Greg Parks for running in the OhioHealth Emerald City Half Marathon.

Running in full turnout gear, the men ran more than 13 miles. According to Welch, for two miles of the race they also ran with their tanks, something that is extremely hard to do.

“One of the most admirable things is that they did this marathon so they could raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation,” Welch said.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that provides travel, lodging and meals for the immediate survivors of fallen firefighters. It also provides scholarships, grief counseling and training to reduce firefighter deaths.

The firefighters also partnered with other local fire departments to raise funds, something that helps the department solidify relationships with their fellow central Ohio firefighters.

“This is the third year they participated and it really is a great cause that goes right back to our brother and sister firefighters,” Welch said.

According to Welch, the men are still collecting donations if area residents are interested in contributing.

Another firefighter who was recognized at the meeting was union president and firefighter Ron DeLozier, who participated in the Leadville Trail 100 Run. This ultra-marathon takes runners on a 100-mile adventure through the mountainous terrain of Colorado.

Taking 29 hours to compete, DeLozier finished the race and is now qualified to compete in other more vigorous races.

“Having our firefighters participate in events like this is great because it promotes physical fitness, which is essential to our line of work,” Welch said. “These firefighters work a 24 hour shift and do various duties throughout that shift, in order to do that they have to be in shape.”

Besides promoting the physical fitness of the township’s fire department, the trustees approved allowing township resident Bill Snodgrass to be the new fire department chaplain.

“Bill actually approached me and said he had the proper certification and an interest in being the chaplain for the department,” Welch said. “This is strictly a volunteer position and he will work as needed.”

Welch said in the 20 years he has been with the department, they have never had a chaplain, but he sees a really need for one.

“Bill will basically assist with crisis situations and personal issues,” he said. “If someone was seriously injured or died he would be there to comfort the family and our firefighters.”

A retired battalion chief with Jackson Township, Snodgrass understands the business, which appealed to Welch.

“If we need someone on the scene of an emergency he will be there, which is what we need,” Welch said. “We are people too and our firefighters, as well as residents of this township, need someone to talk to if an incident occurs.”

Snodgrass will also have a presence at community events the department attends, as well as conduct hospital visits.

If you’re interested in donating to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation or would like more information about the fire department’s new chaplain, visit

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