Jerusalem Township Fire Chief dismissed

Jerusalem Township Fire Chief Harold Stanton.
Jerusalem Township Fire Chief Harold Stanton.

The Jerusalem Township Trustees today voted to dismiss Fire Chief Harold Stanton after he allegedly allowed a non-firefighter to participate in emergency calls.

The trustees unanimously announced their decision after a 25-minute executive session. Forty-five people attended the meeting.

Afterward, Chief Stanton said he plans to appeal the firing.

Chief Stanton had been placed on paid leave after allegations that he let township resident Jim Gray, who is not on the fire department, remain at the scene of four or five emergency situations.

At issue was whether Mr. Gray’s appearance posed a liability to the township. The trustees expressed concern over the potential danger to Mr. Gray and others involved in the emergency situation.

Trustees Joe Kiss, David Bench, and Ron Sheahan held a public hearing at the township hall last week that lasted nearly three hours, and was standing room only for about 75 people.

Chief Stanton was in the news in July, 2010, when he took charge of the scene at an industrial roof collapse in Fremont in which a worker was killed and another trapped under debris for four hours.

The chief was in command as part of the Northwest Ohio Region 1 Collapse Search and Rescue Team, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.