JT adds firefighters to staff

A pair of resignations in the Jackson Township Fire Department was quickly filled, along with the hiring of four more part-time firefighters, following discussion by township trustees on Oct. 16.

Chief Gilbert Sheets recommended Perry Radi and Dan Leveques be hired full-time following the Oct. 5 resignation of Firefighter Dolan Ford and Oct. 30 resignation of Firefighter Joe Armentrout.

"Both (Radi and Leveques) are extremely well qualified and capable people whose personal values, professionalism, and strong work ethic make them ideal candidates for these positions," said Sheets. "They would represent the department with pride and professionalism and can hit the ground running.

"My recommendation is based on a request from the board in September 2006 asking the fire department interview, evaluate, and rank potential candidates for full-time employment."

The process for ranking candidates, including Radi and Leveques, employs a variety of evaluators such as current part-time status with at least one year of service, firefighter/paramedic certification, fellow employee evaluations, and a standardized job performance evaluation by company officers.

Each candidate was given an oral interview with the command staff and answered a series of written questions.

"Lastly, the command staff independently reviewed all ranking materials and graded each candidate," Sheets said in a memo to the trustees. "The candidates’ scores were averaged and a ranking list was then developed in early October 2006. The board of trustees and the township administrator then interviewed the top six candidates.

"On Oct. 12, 2007 the chief and command staff re-evaluated the process and candidates meeting the stated criteria. It is their opinion that the process and evaluation criterion is valid and both candidates will make outstanding employees."

In addition to the pair of full-time hirings, Sheets also recommended the township hire four new part-time firefighter paramedics in order to continue providing service at expected levels. He said their employment is contingent on successful completion of a physical test.

Even with the additional staffing, Sheets said his part-time staff is still five short of his goal of 20 employees and the township plans to advertise for more. Basic requirements for potential employees include: Firefighter 1 and 2 card, EMTB or greater, a valid driver’s license, good work record, ability to pass a physical agility test, and no criminal record. For more information, call the Jackson Township Fire Department at 875-5588.

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