BEAVERCREEK — When David Young was hired into the Beavercreek Township Fire Department 33 years ago, he took the department’s ranks from seven members to eight.
Looking back, my how times have changed.
Monday afternoon, the battalion chief stood by and watched those ranks swell once again – this time officially increasing with nine professional firefighters – as part of the department’s biggest hiring event to date.
“This is exciting,” Young said after the ceremony. “This will definitely change the look of our department… My job now is to get them integrated. They have four weeks of orientation – four weeks before they hit the fire house.”
As part of an expansion to the township’s existing 55-firefighter department, an expansion that will include a new station being built and completed in 2018 to help with response times, Beavercreek Township Trustees and Fire Chief David VandenBos swore in the nine career firefighters, in the bay of the 2195 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek, station 61.
The new firefighters will eventually man the future Fire Station 65, which is going to be located in the area of Fairgrounds Road and Trebein Road. No final determinations have been made in reference to that station. Chief VandenBos said they are just beginning the site selection and architect selection processes.
“(Currently) we do not meet the national standard for response time,” Young said. “One of the ways of fixing that is by building the new fire house east of here, where all the new growth is, where this big boom is.”
Department officials said the department is funded by a township property tax.
No comment was made regarding whether the existing tax levy would pay for the expansion, nor what any preliminary cost estimates might be.
It was nearly two years ago when the department became entirely full time, Young said.
“We took 15 guys from part time, from inside, and we made them full time,” Young said. “But this is the biggest hiring event we’ve ever had … We are just keeping up with community growth.”
New to the department are:
– Chris Heaton was born a raised in Springfield, where he still resides. He started his fire service career while still in high school by taking his paramedic classes during his senior year at Springfield Shawnee. He is a graduate of the Ohio Fire Executive Program with an associate’s degree in EMS and a bachelor’s degree in fire science. He has been working to obtain his master’s degree with a focus in Public Administration.
– John Readler is from Springfield, and graduated from Kenton Ridge High School. He attended Clark State Community College and graduated with an associate degree in applied science. He is a 14-year veteran with Springfield Fire Rescue Division.
– Mike Michener graduated from Cardinal High School in Middlefield. He served the Army in Special Operations from 1988 to 1998. In 2001, he received his Firefighter Level 1 and EMT-Basic certifications. In 2002, he earned his paramedic certification. He received his Firefighter Level 2 certification in 2003. Michener currently resides is Beavercreek and has been a career firefighter/ paramedic for 13 years with the City of Springfield Fire Department. He has also been with Dayton Children’s Hospital as a Mobile Intensive Care/ PICU Staff Nurse since 2010.
– Nicholas Fathergill grew up in the City of Kettering and graduated from Fairmont High School. After graduation, he attended Ohio University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. Ten years ago, Nicholas became interested in the fire service as a way to become involved with Ohio Task Force 1 as a canine handler. He was hired by the City of Kettering in 2008 as a volunteer firefighter and received all of his firefighter and paramedic training from Sinclair Community College. In 2010, he was accepted into Ohio Task Force 1 as a canine handler with his black lab named Storm. He has certified as a Disaster Live Find K9 and is pursuing a certification for a Disaster Human Remains Detection K9. In 2011, Nicholas was hired by the City of Xenia as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Currently, he resides in Centerville.
– Josh Houser is from Huber Heights and graduated from Wayne High School in 2002. He became a Paramedic in 2010 and then decided to try the fire academy from Sinclair Community College. Houser was certified as a Level 2 Firefighter in December 2011 and received a part time job with Sugarcreek Township Fire Department in 2012. In 2013, he received a full time position with Sugarcreek Township Fire Department.
– Jeff Bender was born into a military family at K. I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan. After growing up in the Midwest, Jeff settled in the Dayton-area and chose to become a firefighter. He earned his Level 1 and 2 Firefighter and EMS certifications from Sinclair Community College. He rejoins the Beavercreek Township Fire Department after earning his Paramedic certification last summer.
– Joe Mahaffey was born and raised in Xenia. He attended the Sinclair Community College Fire Academy and their Paramedic program.
– Mike Bowman was born and raised on a farm in Darke County. He graduated from Versailles High School in 2010, and worked part-time for Tipp City EMS, Englewood Fire Department and Greenville Township Fire Department the past several years. He is now a level 2 Firefighter, a Paramedic and holds a HAZMAT Operations and Swift Water Rescue certifications. He currently lives with his wife in Ludlow Falls, Ohio and has a German Shepard named Ariel that loves anyone that will play fetch with her.
– Sean Noffsinger was born and raised in Beavercreek. After high school, Sean wanted to live in a bigger city so he moved to Columbus. He attended Columbus State Community College where he completed his Firefighter and Paramedic certifications.
Brian Evans is a freelance writer for Greene County News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.