Norwich Township Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Warren is the recipient of the Patriot Award, an honor the U.S. Department of Defense bestows on those who support civilians requiring time off work to fulfill reserve and National Guard commitments.
"I have such a great respect for the military and it is an honor to be recognized in this way," said Warren, who was not aware that firefighter Rob Spann had nominated him.
Spann, a Norwich Township firefighter since 1995, is a first sergeant in the Ohio Army National Guard.
Spann told Norwich Township trustees Sept. 17 about Warren's support, including the handling of all the paperwork and personnel shifts required when he goes on active duty.
"He has given exceptional support to me as a soldier," Spann said.
Warren received the award Sept. 10 at a luncheon at an Arena District restaurant.
"I am just reinforcing the values my predecessors instilled in me," Warren told trustees, referring to past chiefs with whom he has worked.
Warren's father also served in the military.
"I hadn't even heard of this award (until receiving it)," said Warren, who learned he had been selected when he received a phone call at the fire station from the Department of Defense. "Our national security starts in our communities (and) I am honored to be a part of the effort."
Warren, 41, is a Grove City resident. He was promoted in June to assistant chief of the Norwich Township Fire Department.
In other fire department business at the Sept. 17 trustee meeting, inspector Scott Tigner of the department's Fire Prevention Bureau advised trustees that Norwich Township will host an educational and training class Sept. 27 for about 150 firefighters, private investigators and insurance adjusters.
Firefighters will burn a specially constructed 12-by-12 foot upholstered room to study the aftermath of fires, including identifying arsons and faulty electrical equipment.
"It will be quite educational for all of us," Tigner said.
Trustees also voted 3-0 to hire Austin Miller, effective Sept. 23, as the department's newest firefighter.
In other township business, two residents addressed trustees about property maintenance.
John Durst, a Saturn Road resident, advised trustees a neighbor had a growing collection of vehicles, some covered and seemingly inoperable.
"It's getting trashy," Durst said.
"If they are registered and licensed, there is little we can do," said Trustee Chairman Larry Earman, adding that the township would ascertain the status of registration and advise the owner accordingly.
Louis Menduni, a Dublin Road resident, also questioned trustees about a nearby home with stray and feral animals.
Trustees advised him they were aware of the issue.