Jeff Fasone remembers his fascination with the 1970s TV series “Emergency!” and the role it has played in his longtime career.
“Ever since I watched that show, with Roy (DeSoto) and Johnny (Gage) as the paramedics, it was my desire to go and be a paramedic, and then I became a fireman after that,” the new Madison Township fire chief said.
Fasone joined the department in 1985 as a part-time firefighter and paramedic. He is the first to advance through the ranks as a lieutenant, captain and battalion chief before being promoted to chief.
The fifth chief in the department’s history now oversees more than 50 employees, three fire stations and an $11 million budget.
Fasone, who was officially sworn in during Madison Township trustees’ June 12 meeting, was named interim chief in February after Battalion Chief Chris Pallos decided the interim job wasn’t for him.
Pallos served as interim chief for a month following the retirement of former chief Robert Bates in January.
“I’m entering a new phase in my career … so I’m a little naïve,” said Fasone, whose salary is about $96,000 annually.
He is a graduate of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Ohio Fire Executive program.
“I’ve never been fully exposed to the budget process or the other side of administrative duties,” he said. “My administrator, trustees and fiscal officer have been a great value to me helping learn that process.”
Fasone’s biggest focus has been opening Station 183, the township’s newest fire station, at 3232 Noe Bixby Road.
The $3.8 million, 11,000-square-foot, two-bay fire station will serve northern areas of the township, including Blacklick Estates.
Township voters approved a 5.25-mill operation levy to help pay for a third fire station in May 2015.
Turner Construction Co. was hired to design and build the station, which will be dedicated soon during a public ceremony, Fasone said.
“Right now, we have a medic crew up there during the day, and we bring them back at night because they’re awaiting additional equipment for dispatching – the public address system that wakes up paramedics in the middle of the night,” Fasone said.
He also will focus his attention on replacing aging equipment.
“I want to leave the department better than I found it,” he said.