New Albany News

Township officials plan to add one full-time firefighter to ranks in 2014

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Plain Township fire department is compiling a list of candidates in anticipation of hiring one full-time firefighter-paramedic and an undetermined number of part-timers in 2014.

"We're trying to schedule additional people during our peak (times)," Assistant Fire Chief Jack Rupp said.

Rupp said the department receives more calls between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, when employees are working at the business parks in New Albany.

Rupp said the department has 32 full-time firefighters and 26 part-time firefighters, some of whom are scheduled regularly and some of whom fill in as needed.

He said the department needs a 33rd full-time firefighter and will hire part-time firefighters once officials determine how to schedule them and fill out their coverage during the peak calling time.

To hire new personnel, the department completes a testing process that takes several months.

Candidates are given an application and a written test. Department officials choose some candidates to be interviewed and those candidates are given a physical-agility test, Rupp said.

The fire department completes a background check and drug screening before recommending a list of candidates to hire, which is discussed with the Plain Township trustees, who hire all township employees.

Fire Chief John Hoovler said the starting salary for a full-time firefighter who has a paramedic certificate is $43,255.68.

Part-time firefighters with a paramedic certificate earn $13.96 an hour. Those with an emergency-medical technician certification and a certain number of hours working as an EMT earn $12.96 per hour, he said.

Hoovler said part-timers can't work more than 1,500 hours in a year.

The Plain Township trustees approved the testing process Nov. 6 in a 3-0 vote.

Rupp said the township will keep a list of firefighters who made it through the testing for 18 months.