Hamilton hires 5 new firefighters

Hamilton’s five new firefighters (from left) are: Jonathon Godby, Ethan Black, Toby Howell, Mike Lehman and Aaron Handy. CONTRIBUTED

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Hamilton’s five new firefighters (from left) are: Jonathon Godby, Ethan Black, Toby Howell, Mike Lehman and Aaron Handy. CONTRIBUTED

The Hamilton Fire Department added to its ranks Monday morning, as five new firefighters were administered the oath of office by Mayor Pat Moeller.

Mike Lehman, Jonathon Godby, Aaron Handy, Ethan Black, and Toby Howell are the newest members of the department. The base starting salary for the five is $19.04 an hour on a 48-hour shift schedule, or roughly $40,000 per year.

“The new hires are well trained, bright, and motivated,” Moeller said. “All are very familiar with Hamilton and its professional firefighters. We are proud to have them on our team and glad they chose Hamilton for their public service.”

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Deputy Chief Mark Mercer said the newly-minted firefighters were selected through the Civil Service process, which includes a written exam, and a rigorous procedure known as the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT), which was completed through the Miami Valley Fire / EMS Alliance.

After completing an interview panel with the fire department administration, and background check, Mercer said the five new hires came across as solid candidates for hire.

“These five firefighters, as well as others who are still on the candidate list, have shown themselves to be highly qualified and of good character, a standard which we set very high in the fire service,” he said.

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They will now go through four weeks of orientation and fire skills training prior to assignment on regular fire duty. During their first year, they also have a task book to complete that outlines training and skills testing in addition to structured monthly training tasks, according to Mercer.

The firefighters received their oath in front of approximately 150 family, friends, and active and retired firefighters. The department’s training officer, Capt. Shawn Pater, presented the new firefighters with their helmets, a symbol of their profession, at the ceremony.

Deputy Chief Larry Gassert also presented newly promoted Lt. Jason Callihan with his officer’s badge, which was pinned on by his children during the ceremony.

Also, senior firefighters Deputy Chief Jay Wirtz, Paramedic Tahied Oxley, and Firefighter David Storck were recognized for 20 years of service to the citizens of Hamilton.

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