RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande Village Council recently voted to make Tim Hemmerick its fire department’s new officer of operations.
The council voted unanimously.
“They want me to provide a training program for firefighters in cooperation with other governmental agencies,” said Hemmerick. “I won’t be doing the training but help steer them in that direction. There’s a big push. Ohio is one of a handful of states that has a basic 36 hours (of firefighter training). The state is trying to get away from that. (Ohio) put in five training academies around the state to better train volunteers. They’re trying to move towards what is nationally-recognized as firefighter 1 and firefighter 2. So, I’m going to try and steer as many people to those levels as I can.”
According to Hemmerick, among his other proposed duties would be to oversee the maintenance of Rio Grande’s firefighting equipment and assist with the department’s budget and firefighting runs.
“We’re going to try and update things by trying to get more grants,” said Hemmerick.
Hemmerick said he spent almost 28 years as a Dayton firefighter, some of those as an assistant fire chief. He focused in HAZMAT practices as well as communications. Hemmerick started with the Rio Grande Volunteer Fire Department in May 2015 and left Dayton in July 2002. He and his wife moved to Gallia County in 2003.
Hemmerick previously assisted in gathering grant money for both Centerville and Rio Grande firefighting equipment needs. He also assisted the village in seeking solutions with addressing concerns in 2017.
“We’re happy to welcome Tim and his wealth of experience,” said Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter. “His knowledge of grants has brought, just to our county alone, hundreds of thousands of dollars not just to Rio Grande but by teaming with other departments. Getting someone with (Dayton’s firefighting knowledge) will benefit the community greatly.”
According to Easter, the next village meeting will shore up Hemmerick’s responsibilities in a written format whereas the previous meeting discussed a ”word of mouth” description of his proposed duties.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342 or at the Gallipolis Daily Tribune Facebook page.