Plain Township in 2013 created new positions and added equipment at the Plain Township Fire Department, while continuing to upgrade Maplewood Cemetery on Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road.
"Our promotions were the big thing this year," said Fire Chief John Hoovler.
Plain Township trustees on Jan. 16 promoted nine firefighters to new positions.
Fire Capts. 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, Hoovler said. The trustees authorized the new positions in 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.
Todd Moore, Chris Pabst and Brian Reasoner were promoted to lieutenant following the Jan. 16 final interviews.
The fire department also added new equipment in 2013.
After creating the battalion chief positions, the Plain Township trustees on Feb. 20 approved $44,700 to purchase a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe for the department's new battalion chiefs to use.
The Plain Township trustees on March 20 accepted a $13,000 donation from Discover Financial Services that helped the department purchase its second LUCAS device, a machine that provides mechanical chest compression for CPR.
Hoovler said the machine is portable and is able to complete more consistent CPR on a patient while the patient is being transported to the hospital in a medic.
He said it's also safer for firefighters to wear a seat belt while the vehicle is traveling, instead of standing or sitting next to a patient and trying to perform CPR while the medic is moving.
The Plain Township trustees also agreed April 24 in a special meeting to spend $214,640 on a new medical vehicle from Horton Emergency Vehicles of Grove City.
Capt. Travis Dudley said the fire department has three emergency-medical units, two of which have more than 100,000 miles.
The oldest, a 1995 model with 118,000 miles on it, will be retired when the department receives the new medic, Hoovler said.
Firefighters hope to receive the vehicle the second week of January, Dudley said.
Also in 2013, the township continued improving Maplewood Cemetery.
Collins said the township is building a 700-foot driveway loop off Park Avenue that could access 51 new gravesites on the west side of the cemetery.
The township agreed in September to work with the New Albany Co., which is developing 51 single-family lots west of the cemetery in a subdivision called Straits Farms.
Trustee Tom Rybski said the two entities are saving money by working together, using the same contractor to pave the cemetery road and roads in the subdivision.
Trustees approved a master plan for Maplewood Cemetery in 2010 and have been improving the facility annually since then.