New Albany News

Plain Township promotes nine firefighters


The Plain Township trustees promoted nine firefighters to new positions Jan. 16 after completing final interviews with candidates.

Fire captains Joe Brown, Greg Ecleberry and Kevin Sponaugle were promoted to battalion chief and lieutenants Jim Carney, Travis Dudley and Greg Myers were promoted to captain.

Brown, Ecleberry and Sponaugle are the department's first battalion chiefs, who supervise emergency-response sites as the officers in charge and help ensure firefighters' safety, according to Fire Chief John Hoovler. The trustees authorized the new positions last April.

Carney, Dudley and Myers were the only department personnel qualified to be promoted to captain, Hoovler said.

Ten firefighters tested for the three open lieutenant positions, and the five who tested the highest were interviewed Jan. 10. They were: Fred Houseberg, Jason Moore, Todd Moore, Chris Pabst and Brian Reasoner.

Todd Moore, Pabst and Reasoner were promoted to lieutenant following the Jan. 16 final interviews.

Hoovler said he was proud of all the firefighters who tested. He said all passed the tests, "which says a lot about the caliber of our people."

Hoovler said even though there was no competition for the battalion chiefs and captains' positions, with only six applying for the six open positions, the firefighters all took the testing seriously, which means the department's knowledge base has increased.

Hoovler said the department advertised the battalion chief positions externally but the three candidates who applied did not meet the qualifications, one of which was having served as a fire captain.

Hoovler also thanked trustees Dave Ferguson, Dave Olmstead and Tom Rybski for committing a lot of time to the process.