Violet Township recently added three full-time firefighters to fill a service gap previously being bridged with part-time staff.

The Violet Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the hiring of J.D. McDowell, Harry "Joe" Myers and Steve Wernert March 19 as firefighters, starting April 1.

"We have a need for additional full-time staffing," Violet Township fire Chief Mike Little said. "Hiring these three firefighters allows us to predicate our staffing model on full-time members only.

"We will still use part-time members to supplement, but they will no longer be counted on as daily staffing."

The hirings will 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.

Myers will begin 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," Little said.

Myers, McDowell and Wernert already were serving as part-time firefighters.

Wernert, 30, has served with the fire department on a part-time basis since 2007.

Dowell, 23, joined in 2015 and Myers, 25, was added in 2017.

"We have a testing process in place for our part-time members when there is a need to hire full time," Little said. "These three individuals all scored well throughout that process and were selected to fill these positions."

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 each.

Additionally, the township will pay 24 percent of each firefighter's pension because they will be members of the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund.

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