Baird selected as new Norwich Township fire chief

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

Battalion Chief Dave Baird has been chosen as the Norwich Township Fire Department's next leader.

The Norwich Township trustees on Oct. 6 made a conditional offer of employment to Baird, 43, as fire chief, said township administrator Jamie Fisher.

Dave Baird, pictured with his wife, Andrea, has been chosen by the Norwich Township trustees as the township's new fire chief.

Baird said he has accepted the offer to replace Jeff Warren, who plans to remain with the department as a battalion chief.

"There aren't many opportunities to step up to fire chief, so when (Warren) said he was stepping down, I took the opportunity," Baird said.

Baird is a 1995 graduate of Hilliard High School and was a part-time firefighter at the Jerome Township Fire Department before becoming a full-time Norwich firefighter in 2002.

Baird was promoted to lieutenant in 2012 and battalion chief in 2019.

He lives in Hilliard with his wife, Andrea, two sons and a daughter.

The concept of teamwork first attracted Baird to firefighting and emergency-medical services.

As a Wildcats football player, Baird said, he learned to work together as a team.

"I grew up playing sports and it's all about teamwork," he said. "The fire service is like that, too. Everything we do, we do as a team. So (the fire service) was a natural fit for me."

Having accepted the conditional offer from the trustees, Baird said, he planned to finalize an agreement with the township over the next several days and then begin the transition to chief.

"I'm glad (Warren) will be around for me to ask for advice when I might need it," he said.

In September, Warren said he would step down Jan. 1 as chief and return to the rank of battalion chief after opting to execute a reassignment clause written into his 2014 contract.

Previous story:Jeff Warren stepping down as Norwich Township fire chief but will remain with department

Warren said he wanted to open the door for other talented command-level fire personnel to advance rather than risk talented individuals in Norwich Township taking jobs at other fire departments, as well as a desire to return to a role that allows him on a regular basis to respond to emergency calls, work alongside other firefighters at scenes and interact with residents.

“Serving as the fire chief over the past several years has been a dream come true,” Warren, 48, said previously. “Our agency is talent-rich at all levels, and the future of Norwich is bright. I look forward to serving the department and community in my new capacity again.”

Related story:Warrens answer call to serve in emergency-services careers

Warren was a battalion chief before he was named chief in 2014.

The trustees accepted Warren’s reassignment request as an administrative matter Sept. 1.

Baird's contract, including salary and benefits, as fire chief still was being negotiated as of Oct. 8, according to township fiscal officer Jamie Miles.

The current annual salary for the fire chief is $127,685, and the salary of a battalion chief is $113,575, Miles said. The value of benefits for both chief and battalion chief are $12,548, she said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo