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Published: Tuesday, 12/10/2002

Swanton holds hearing on conduct of firefighter

SWANTON - A hearing for volunteer firefighter Jason Tipton, who faces charges including threats and insubordination, stretched late into the night yesterday.

Mr. Tipton is charged with conduct unbecoming of a firefighter, hampering emergency care, insubordination, slander, threats, and creating a hostile work atmosphere. The hearing was held before the village council's safety committee, which could dismiss the charges or take action that could include termination.

Mr. Tipton has the right to appeal any action to the full village council.

Chief Jim Guy tried to terminate Mr. Tipton this year for unauthorized use of a public vehicle. But village council voided the termination, saying it was the only body that can fire village employees.

Chief Guy then filed the charges that led to last night's hearing.

Testimony from fellow firefighters and emergency workers included statements that Mr. Tipton failed to follow orders to set up an IV at an accident in January. It was a skill he had first learned the night before in class.

During testimony, witnesses discussed an August fire, after which Mr. Tipton twice asked a paramedic to give him a ride back to the fire station. She testified that she felt needed at the scene where a firefighter was hurt and said his requests hampered her response. Several confrontations that Mr. Tipton had with Chief Guy at the fire station and at the Northwest Ohio Volunteer Fireman's Convention in North Baltimore in June were discussed as well.

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