New fire service jobs in Washington Twp., Centerville beefing up public safety

WASHINGTON TWP. — The fire department for Washington Twp. and most of Centerville is adding full-time jobs that will be funded by a levy approved last year.

The Washington Twp. Fire Department is looking to hire seven firefighter/paramedics and a fire inspector as part of the effort Chief Scott Kujawa said is expected to lead to a full-time staff of 90 by the end of next year.

“Originally, we said we would complete it in 2022, but we may get done with it a little early,” Kujawa said. “I think we may be able to finish it in (December) 2021.”

In 2019, the department asked for 30 more full-time positions, he said. Voters that spring approved a fire services levy for an additional 2.85 mills by a 63-37 margin, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

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Officials said the levy is expected to generate about $5.26 million this year, which is helping the department lessen its reliance on part-time firefighters.

Washington Twp. has been among the fire departments having difficulty attracting and retaining part-time first responders, Kujawa said.

“That’s why we asked for the additional manpower, which ultimately helps to reduce overtime as well,” he said. “This will allow for the reduction in overtime and potentially an additional (medic unit) as well.”

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The current round of hiring will result in a staff of 78 full-time firefighters, giving the department 26 a day — along with four part-timers — to cover three daily shifts at its headquarters and five stations in the township and city, Kujawa said.

The process to add the seven full-time firefighters is “getting ready to wrap up,” he said, with the additional personnel expected to join the department by Thanksgiving.

The annual compensation ranges from $60,504 to $79,619, plus education and paramedic incentives, township records show.

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Candidates for the fire inspector job are being evaluated and applications still being sought, Kujawa said. The yearly salary range is $44,554 to $58,614, depending on experience, records show.

Applicants must have an Ohio fire safety inspector certification, a valid American Heart CPR, AED, and first-aid card, and an Ohio hazardous materials operations certification, among other qualifications, according to the township.

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