Violet Township will add to its safety force after hiring three firefighters.

At a special meeting March 19, the Violet Township board of trustees approved the hiring of J.D. McDowell, Harry “Joe” Myers and Steve Wernert.

They will be full-time employees and will start April 1.

Myers will begin his service as a firefighter/paramedic.

McDowell and Wernert will join as firefighters with emergency-medical technician basic certification, “with the expectation to complete paramedic school and receive their state certification as a paramedic within 36 months of hire,” said fire Chief Mike Little.

Little said the three would be paid annual base salaries of $55,190.96, and would receive annual employee benefits valued at approximately $23,453. Additionally, the township will pay 24 percent of each firefighter’s pension. They will be members of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension System.

The three new hires allow the fire department to staff 16 full-time personnel per shift, Little said.

Overall, the department will have 55 full-time firefighters, 20 part-time firefighters and three support-staff members.

Read more about the fire department in the March 28 edition of ThisWeek Pickerington Times-Sun.