Upper Arlington's next fire chief brings 28 years of experience to the job, along with a desire to serve the public that started when he watched television episodes of "Emergency!" as a youth in the 1970s.

Upper Arlington's next fire chief brings 28 years of experience to the job, along with a desire to serve the public that started when he watched television episodes of "Emergency!" as a youth in the 1970s.

Battalion Capt. Lyn Nofziger was selected from a pool of 37 candidates for the post. He said his promotion will fulfill a goal he developed after entering a profession he had dreamed of being part of.

"It started when I was a little kid from role-playing in the backyard," Nofziger said. "I decided this was something I wanted to do.

"It's a passion of helping people. I've always had this urge to help people in situations when they're having their worst day."

City Manager Ted Staton announced Dec. 14 that Nofziger would become chief on Jan. 3, citing his "professionalism and passion for the community's safety," as well as recommendations from "close associates" that affirmed Nofziger's strong leadership abilities.

"It's safe to say that through all this experience, combined with his years as a firefighter/paramedic, (Nofziger) is extremely knowledgeable of the Fire Division, its daily operations and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead," Staton said.

Nofziger, 50, joined the division as firefighter and paramedic in 1988. He's served as lieutenant (December 1998-July 2008), fire captain (July 2008-January 2015) and battalion captain (January 2015-present).

As battalion captain, Nofziger oversees the 2 Unit personnel, incident scene management and the entire division's communications and information technology services.

He will replace Jeff Young, who retired Oct. 28 after 28 years with the Fire Division, including the last six as chief. Young now is director of Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.

"I'm extremely honored and humbled to have been selected to lead this great Fire Division and represent the city," Nofziger said. "We have such great employees in the city, and the firefighters within the division are exemplary.

"I appreciate their confidence in my abilities to lead the division."

Nofziger will earn an annual base salary of $118,000, according to the Upper Arlington Community Affairs Office.

Nofziger earned an associate degree in fire and emergency services from Hocking Technical College. He also is trained and certified as an advanced cardiac life support provider and instructor.

As chief, he said his immediate plans will include selecting a new captain and lieutenant to fill vacancies that will be created by his promotion.

He said he also hopes to set division goals for the coming year and begin outreach efforts with community organizations and residents, as well as work to ensure the UAFD is coordinating services and communications with all other city departments.

"My management style is more working with people, assigning projects on things that need to be accomplished, supporting those individuals and kind of being a mentor," Nofziger said. "Basically, let them do their jobs and get out of the way and supporting them as needed."

Nofziger thanked UAFD Deputy Chief Mark Zambito for his leadership in filling the chief's position on an interim basis following Young's retirement. He said he's looking forward to bringing his own new ideas to enhance what he believes is already an industry-leading department

"It feels great," Nofziger said. "It also feels like a great sense of responsibility now is on my shoulders, but I know I have a great support staff, from the most senior firefighter down to the newest firefighter."

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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