The Plain Township trustees on April 2 swore in four new full-time firefighters and hired four part-time firefighters.
Fire Chief John Hoovler said the township has hired "the top" firefighters.
"We're proud of our fire department and the type of professionalism you bring to our community," said Trustee Dave Ferguson. "The respect and safety that is your focus makes me feel you are one of the pillars or our community."
The four full-time firefighters were hired March 19. They were chosen from 51 applicants who went through a series of physical and written tests, Hoovler said.
They are: Adam Brandt, 31, of Lancaster; Chris Durst, 31, of Millersburg; Adam Noble, 32, of Johnstown; and Nick Yutzy, 24, of Lancaster.
Hoovler said they will earn $17.72 per hour and will be eligible for benefits. They will start April 12.
All four of the new full-time firefighters had worked part time for the department.
To fill out the part-time list, the trustees on April 2 agreed to hire Patrick Archambeau, 19, of Worthington; James Blair, 21, of Johnstown; John Pershing III, 28, of Gahanna; and Alex Watson, 18, of Westerville.
Archambeau is a recent graduate of the Delaware Area Career Center and Worthington Kilbourne High School. He was working part time for the Kettering Fire Department in Dayton.
Blair has been a firefighter since June 2013, working part-time for Monroe Township and a private medical service.
Pershing has been working for the Southern Campbell Fire Department in Alexandria, Ky.
Watson is a recent graduate of the Delaware Area Career Center and Westerville Central High School. He was working for a private medical service.
Hoovler said Blair and Pershing will earn $13.31 an hour and Archambeau and Watson will earn $12.40 an hour. All will start working after taking a physical-agility test.
Both Archambeau and Watson worked with the Plain Township Fire Department as high-schoolers in 2012 through the Boy Scouts of America Explorer program. Both were enrolled in the fire-service program at the Delaware Area Career Center at the time.
Explorer programs are open to youths who have completed eighth grade, ages 14 to 21. The program in Plain Township is under the authority of the Simon Kenton Council, which serves central and southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.
During their time as Explorers, both won gold medals at state competitions. Watson, for example, is known for being able to put on firefighting gear and breathe through an oxygen tank in under 40 seconds.
The Plain Township Fire Department now has 35 full-time firefighters and 25 part-timers, operating with 11 full-time firefighters per shift.
Assistant Chief Jack Rupp said part-time firefighters fill in on shifts, with some being scheduled up to 30 hours per week.