Lynchburg’s fire chief will be taking a new role as assistant chief with the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District in a move that David Manning called “bittersweet.”
Manning has been chief in Lynchburg since he was hired for the post in August 2010. Before that he was with Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, which was disbanded after the city contracted with Paint Creek.
Manning is slated to start with Paint Creek on April 5. As to his departure from Lynchburg, he said he didn’t know who will replace him, but he knows board members are working on getting the position filled.
Manning said he applied for the position with Paint Creek for a couple reasons. The first is because it is a bigger district. The second, he said, is that since he worked for Hillsboro Fire and Rescue “it’s kind of like coming back home.”
And being with Paint Creek would afford him “a greater opportunity to make a positive impact on fire and EMS services” in Highland County, he said.
But leaving the Lynchburg district, he said, “really is bittersweet for me.” He said there have been positive changes made since he came on as chief, and that those changes could not have been accomplished without the support of the board and district members.
“I wish only the best for Lynchburg,” Manning said.
And as to coming on with the Paint Creek district, Manning said, “I am looking forward to it.”
The position of assistant chief has been vacant since Paint Creek’s former assistant chief, Chad Hamilton, left in December to take a position in the Columbus area. Hamilton’s departure came as an investigation into Paint Creek Chief Bradley George was winding down, and which resulted in no charges being filed and George returning to work.
In other business, George said the air packs ordered in December are in service and a couple of them have already been used.
As previously reported, the district will pay about $280,000 through a five-year financing plan for the complete 42 air packs.
Air packs are standard firefighting equipment and protect a firefighter from the deadly atmosphere within a burning structure. An individual air pack includes the harness by which an air cylinder is held, an air cylinder, face mask, regulator, and various safety features that improve safety in a fire.
George also reported that a grant through the Ohio Department of Public Safety had been applied for. George said in a previous meeting that the idea was for Highland County departments to pool their grant funding to upgrade the county to the MARCS system instead of the current radio system. He said Highland County’s current infrastructure could not carry the MARCS system, which most other counties have already upgraded to.
Wi-Fi upgrades across the district are in process of being completed, George said. Paint Township’s station two is already up and running, with the other two stations to be completed this week, George said.
Board president Dan Mathews reported that a quote for paving at Station Two was for $24,850. Board members said a job of this nature doesn’t have to be put out for bid until the $25,000 point. More quotes are to be gathered prior to the board’s next meeting.
The Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Board meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.