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FTFD reorganizes department and adds assistant fire chief
|Photo courtesy the Franklin Township Fire Department
The Franklin Township Fire Department welcomed the new position of assistant fire chief, boosting its roster to a 40 person department. (Pictured left to right) Chas Adams was promoted to lieutenant, Mark Kidd was promoted to assistant fire chief and Chris Grile saw promotion to captain.
The Franklin Township Fire Department (FTFD) has experienced boosted morale and more efficiently delivered service to its residents following the decision to reorganize the department.
FTFD Fire Chief Richard Howard said, while the township is not getting any bigger, the increase in federal and state regulations required the department to reorganize.
Lt. Larry Geiger has seen nearly 100 building requests come across his desk since Franklin Township launched its building department last August.
As the fire prevention officer for the FTFD, Geiger not only approves and inspects all building projects, but is responsible for fire investigations.
According to Howard, the department has worked with local businesses to make them aware of building codes regarding renovations and additions.
As part of the department’s reorganization, Howard added a lieutenant to fire prevention, allowing both men to split the duties of inspections and investigations.
Previous to the township having its own building department, it deferred code enforcement to the state and paperwork could sometimes fall through the cracks.
A business may erect a sign that zoning would not know about or the Franklin County auditor might not be made aware of a business’s renovation – so property value was not reassessed.
Those are problems of the past now that the township handles the filing of paperwork, Howard said.
For over a year Howard lobbied for an assistant fire chief. The Franklin Township trustees created the position on March 19.
Captain Mark Kidd, who has spent nearly 20 years with the department, was sworn in as assistant fire chief on March 29 and officially began duty on April 11.
The new position boosted the FTFD to a 40 person department.
Lt. Chris Grile was promoted to captain and Firefighter Chas Adams was promoted to lieutenant - both men have spent about a decade with the department.
Howard said the department is going over applications to fill the vacant firefighter position.
Kidd will take the responsibilities of fire and EMS training, EMS reviews, and split meeting loads with the fire chief – basically learning the business of running the department, Howard said.
With the day to day tasks being handled by the assistant fire chief and one more fire prevention officer, Howard said this will make properties and buildings in the township safer by keeping up with standards and regulations.
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