Michael Buzza, assistant fire chief for Lake Township Station No. 1, yesterday was appointed the township's full-time fire chief.
The township trustees voted unanimously to name Chief Buzza, ending a near yearlong stalemate over whom to choose for the job.
The chief said that his new job pays between $48,000 and $50,000 a year.
The township had been without a chief since Dennis Boos retired on disability in October.
The naming of a new chief was delayed for two reasons, Trustee Ron Sims said.
The trustees initially conducted a search for a part-time fire chief only to realize in midprocess that the workload called for a full-time employee. So, the search was repeated, Mr. Sims said.
The township, with about 75 part-time firefighters, once employed a full-time fire chief. Surrounding fire departments have full-time positions.
The trustees also had different ideas on who should be given the job, and it took awhile for everybody to come to agreement, Mr. Sims said.
Chief Buzza, 38, of Walbridge is a third-generation firefighter. He was selected from six candidates, all of whom are with the township fire department.
"It's kind of like a dream job," said Chief Buzza, who was assistant chief for four years.
"I've been [with the department] for 20 years, starting as a firefighter. I want to do good for my community, and I couldn't think of a better way."
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