The Jackson Township Board of Trustees' first meeting of 2014 was all about the fire department.
In addition to the hiring of three new fire technicians at the meeting on Jan. 14, a number of Jackson Township firefighters were recognized at the meeting for service over the previous few weeks that has received commendations from residents and other community members.
"We're very proud of what they've done," said Deputy Fire Chief Rick Dawson. "Those employees will be recognized."
According to a memo by Dawson addressed to the trustees, the firefighters will receive a letter of recognition in their personnel files.
"In each of these incidents, our staff demonstrated the finest example of the history and heritage of Jackson Township Firefighters and their dedication to public service," according to the letter. "I personally thank them for the outstanding manner in which they represented themselves and the department."
Dawson cited three incidents involving Jackson Fire and EMS crews who received praise.
Those personnel cited in the memo were Josh Mollohan, Rob Sneller, Lt. Cheyenne Wells, Bill Callahan, David Jacob, Matt Headlee, Greg Rudduck, Morgan Gierman, Jacob Rowe, Lt. Rich Flanagan, Paul Gaston, Kenny Spangler and Dustin Bradbury.
The meeting also featured a presentation of an Ohio House resolution presented by township fiscal officer Ron Grossman on behalf Ohio Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) to fire safety inspector Tammy Green commending her. Last year, Green received the Fire Official of the Year Award at the Central Ohio Code Officials Association.
The board also voted unanimously to hire Matthew Frazier, Jeremy Latella and Dustin Widmayer, a third-generation Jackson Township firefighter, as fire technicians, and all of them were sworn in at the meeting. Fire technicians perform the same duties as full-time firefighters except they are scheduled for every other duty day on their assigned unit, every sixth day as opposed to every third day for full-time firefighters.
With these hires, Jackson Township Administrator Mike Lilly said the fire division now has four fire technicians on duty at all times.
"We've really made some effort the last couple of years," Lilly said. "We've seen our overtime numbers come down, and I think the system is working."
In related news, the construction of Fire Station 204, 4900 Buckeye Parkway, continues to inch toward completion. Lilly said the township has been informed by the contractor that the fire department could be ready to take possession of the station sometime in early February. Work is currently underway to finish the new station's floors.
"I would like to think we'd have some kind of dedication ceremony at our February meeting," Lilly said. "By our next meeting, we should have a firm idea of where we're going."
The Jackson Township Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday, Jan. 28.