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Published: Tuesday, 1/18/2011

10 Ottawa Hills firefighters sworn in as Toledo firefighters

BLADE STAFF

Ten Ottawa Hills firefighters were sworn into the ranks of the Toledo Fire Department Tuesday morning under a deal between the two communities.

Hiring the Ottawa Hills firefighters was a provision of the 20-year contract for Toledo to take over fire service in the village. As part of the deal, Ottawa Hills will pay Toledo $430,000 a year.

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Ottawa Hills Mayor Kevin Gilmore presided over the ceremony, which was held in a fire bay at the village's fire station.

“We certainly feel now more than ever that this was a great move for the region,” Mr. Gilmore said.

Both mayors said such agreements could become more common statewide if their arrangement is proven successful.

Toledo Fire Battalion Chief John Kromenacker, who will retire at the end of January, swore in the 10 men — making it his last swearing-in ceremony.

Wayne Hartford, president of Toledo Firefighters Local 92, which represents Toledo firefighters, said he would file a grievance Tuesday or Wednesday over the city's contractual obligation to maintain a minimum manning number.

Mr. Hartford said the 103 minimum manning number should be increased to 107 since the department now has to man an additional station.

“It is a matter of public and firefighter safety,” Mr. Hartford said after the ceremony. “I have said it before, but it is like a rubber band and if you stretch it too much, sooner or later it is going to break.”



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