Hilliard Northwest News

Firefighters, citizens applauded for efforts

Trustees honor five who reach one-year mark, father and son who rescued others from fire

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The Norwich Township Fire Department and Ohio State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers recognized the Woodlands at the July 15 trustees meeting. Pictured (from left) are: Norwich Fire Chief Jeff Warren, Robert Woodland Jr., Robert Woodland Sr., Norwich Battalion Chief Greg Young and Flowers.

Several official recognitions were on the agenda at the July 15 meeting of the Norwich Township Trustees.

Norwich Township firefighters Nathan Bidwell, Shayne Harvey, Mitch Klosterman, Adam Peck and Josh Warren were recognized for having completed one year of service, as well as their probationary period, Fire Chief Jeff Warren said.

Warren and Ohio State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers then recognized a father and son who rescued a family of seven May 29 from a Walker Road residence in Brown Township.

"We were there for a reason," said Robert Woodland Sr., adding he was somewhat overwhelmed by the media exposure and accolades.

"I was just helping someone," said Woodland, 53, who commended his then-19-year-old son, Robert Woodland Jr., for following him into the burning house, alerting and evacuating the seven occupants, including three children.

Woodland Sr., who spent 15 years as a volunteer firefighter for Clinton Township, recognized the situation as a house fire while he and his son were riding on Patterson Road, just south of Walker Road, minutes after midnight May 29.

Flowers presented the Woodlands with the marshal's office's Award of Heroism and Warren presented them with a Citizen's Bravery Award.

"You made a difference," Flowers said.

Warren said members of the rescued family declined to attend the ceremony.

Woodland Jr. said he has spoken with the family several times since the fire, which was ruled accidental and believed to be linked to gasoline stored in the garage, Norwich officials said.

In other action at the meeting, trustees approved the construction of a four-way stop at Ridgewood Drive and Schirtzinger Road.

Currently, only traffic on Ridgewood Drive is required to stop. A recent traffic study concluded a four-way stop was warranted and the intersection is expected to be changed within the next 30 days, trustees said.

Signs advising motorists of the change were to be in place Wednesday, July 16.