Hilliard Northwest News

Norwich Township

Warren replaces Kaufman as fire chief


The Norwich Township trustees last week promoted Jeff Warren after Fire Chief Robert Kaufman announced he would retire effective March 7.

Warren, who became assistant fire chief last June, was named Jan. 9 as the department's next commander.

Warren, 41, said he is honored to succeed Kaufman.

Warren joined the department in July 1996. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2003, promoted to captain in 2009 and was named a battalion chief -- a newly created rank -- in 2012.

Meanwhile, Kaufman, 62, told the trustees Jan. 9 that it has been "an honor and a privilege to serve" as chief.

He said he was "especially pleased" with the selection of Warren as his replacement.

Kaufman submitted a letter to the trustees announcing his retirement, prompting them to meet in a closed meeting at the conclusion of the regularly scheduled open meeting.

Following the closed meeting, trustees resumed an open session and acted to name Warren as chief.

Trustee Chairman Tim Roberts, a retired firefighter, said it was a pleasure to work with Kaufman.

Kaufman said he looked forward to spending more time with his family, including his wife, Janice, their three children and seven grandchildren.

Kaufman is a 1970 graduate of Hilliard High School and joined the Norwich Township Fire Department full time Jan. 1, 1987. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1993, promoted to captain in 1999 and was named assistant chief in 2004.

He succeeded David Long as chief on Jan. 21, 2012.

Kaufman spent several years working in retail before changing careers and becoming a firefighter.

"It was an opportunity that I thought had passed," Kaufman said of becoming chief. "I'm glad I had the chance, but it's time to move on."