Middletown fire official one of 2 finalists for Warren County job

Franklin Twp. has narrowed its field for fire chief to two candidates, which includes Middletown’s current assistant chief.

Finalist Thomas Snively is a Franklin Twp. resident and is currently the assistant chief for the Middletown Division of Fire. Michael Hannigan, the other finalist, is a Lebanon resident and retired as Lebanon’s fire chief.

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The finalists for the job took the Fire Service Supervisor Chief Officer online exam on July 9, according to Township Administrator Traci Stivers. There were 29 applicants for the part-time position.

Stivers told the Journal-News that she and interim Fire Chief Keith Jennings interviewed both finalists again on Thursday. She said both candidates will meet with the township trustees on July 23.

Stivers also said whoever is selected as the fire chief will be part-time employees and would work a maximum 1,500 hours a year. She said pay has not yet been determined.

“I think that we have two great candidates and as the administrator, I am excited to work with either of these gentlemen,” Stivers said. “They have different strengths, and maybe even different approaches to how they’ll handle things, but I will be happy regardless of which candidate the township trustees choose.”

Stivers added that both candidates have years of experience.

“I am confident there is no bad choice here,” she said.

Snively will continue as Middletown’s assistant fire chief if he is selected for the Franklin Twp. position.

It is not unusual in the fire service for career firefighters and officers to concurrently serve as part-time chiefs for smaller volunteer township and community fire departments.

One example is Middletown firefighter Brian Sebald who is also Trenton’s assistant fire chief and retired Middletown fire lieutenant Darrell Yater is Trenton’s fire chief. Another example is part-time Carlisle Fire Chief Joel Holbrook who is a battalion chief with the Washington Twp. Fire Department in Montgomery County.

Franklin Twp. trustees appointed fire Capt. Keith Jennings as the interim township fire chief on Oct. 2 following the resignation for retirement of former fire chief Steve Bishop on Sept. 28.

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