Nine vie for city fire chief job

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By BRIAN BOHNERT
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Nine people have submitted applications to be the city of Fostoria’s next fire chief.
The Review Times on Wednesday obtained the résumés of all nine candidates vying to become the 11th chief of Fostoria Fire Division, including seven applicants from Ohio and one from both Indiana and South Carolina.
Brian Herbert
At the top of the list is FFD’s current Interim Fire Chief Brian Herbert, a 24-year veteran who hopes to return the department to the way it was under former chief Russ Rife.
“He was my mentor and I’ve taken a lot of steps as interim chief to make sure we get back to that already,” Herbert told the Review Times on Tuesday.
Herbert joined Fostoria’s fire department in February 1993 after earning his fire officer certificate from Owens Community College. Prior to taking over the role of interim chief in June, he served as a shift captain, overseeing the daily duties, fire grounds operations and EMS services of five-to-six personnel.
He is a certified emergency medical technician, fire service inspector and instructor, HazMat Emergency Highway specialist, and HazMat Tank Car specialist. He also has several emergency management and incident command certifications through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Additionally, he has been a Hazardous Materials and Confined Space instructor at the University of Findlay since June 2015.
He was appointed interim fire chief in late June after longtime Fostoria firefighter Scott Basinger stepped down from the role to retire.
D. Michael Gasaway
Hailing from Mogadore, a village located in Portage and Summit counties, D. Michael Gasaway hopes his 18 years’ experience in the fire service industry will make him the ideal candidate to lead Fostoria’s fire department going forward.
Gasaway spent 18 years as a part-time firefighter and paramedic with the Lakemore Fire Department, and he’s been with the Coventry Township Fire Department for the past 14 years. Since last year, Gasaway has also served as a firefighter and paramedic with the Suffield Fire Department.
Gasaway became a certified paramedic in 2004 and is also a licensed rescue diver. He also has several incident command certifications.
He has also been active in his community, serving as the head coach of the Boys of Summer 12U boys baseball team last year and as the president of Mogadore youth baseball and softball from 2010-2015.
David Meronk
David Meronk, of Findlay, is also looking to become Fostoria’s next fire chief. He has 25 years’ experience in emergency service and is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
Meronk earned a Bachelor of Science in Fire and Safety Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and a Master of Science in Emergency Management “” Terrorism in 2008 from Jacksonville State University. Since 2014, he has served as a safety consultant with the state of Ohio.
He previously served as a firefighter with the United States Navy from 1988-96 and the United States Air Force from 2001-04. After working as a firefighter for the Findlay and Portage fire departments, he worked with the Emergency Management Agency in Hancock County.
He has also worked as a captain/contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense and as an installation fire chief for the U.S. Department of State, both in Iraq.
Meronk’s résumé boasts dozens of certifications, including some in management, industrial, life safety, training and medical. He also has three certifications in progress.
David Shook
David Shook, of Painesville, brings with him more than 30 years’ experience in public safety.
Currently the assistant fire chief of the Grand River Fire Department, Shook retired from the Painesville City Fire Department in 2010 after 27 years of service. While employed with Painesville, he rose the ranks from firefighter to lieutenant and then to captain.
His career in public safety began in 1981 when he worked at a part-time firefighter for the Concord Township Fire Department. He then worked as a part-time police officer for both the Perry Village Police Department and the Madison Village Police Department.
He attended Lakeland Community College, where he earned an Ohio Basic Police Officer Training certificate and an associate’s degree in fire science. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety from Cleveland State University.
Shook lists several awards he’s received throughout his career, including a commendation for his work during a Ku Klux Klan rally in Painesville in 1994, a commendation for his safety efforts during a 2006 flood in Painesville and his work during a CSX train derailment in 2007.
He also earned a MetroHealth Excellence in Medical Service Award in 2016.
In addition to his awards, Shook has maintained his fire/EMS certifications and he’s received specialty training for public safety management, hazardous materials, river and ice rescue, rope rescue, vehicle extraction, trench rescue, building collapse and fire investigation.
David E. Masirovits
While his career took him 700 miles from his home state eight years ago, David Masirovits wants to return to Ohio and lead Fostoria’s fire department.
Masirovits currently serves as a captain/paramedic for the fire department in Goose Creek, South Carolina. He left Ohio in 2009 and moved to the Palmetto State after his previous employer, the city of Conneaut, experienced financial hardships and began toying with the idea of changing its fire department to an all-volunteer roster.
Before heading south, he spent 13 years as a firefighter/paramedic with the Conneaut Fire Department as well as four years as a fire lieutenant and EMS captain with the North Kingsville Fire Department and Rescue.
When he moved to South Carolina, where Masirovits diversified his education and work experience by joining the Goose Creek Fire Department, located north of Charleston.
His education career spans multiple institutions, including the Ashtabula County Joint Vocational School, the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, the Ohio State Fire Academy, the South Carolina Fire Academy and the National Fire Academy.
Masirovits has earned dozens of certifications in fire services, rescue, medical, and national security, which were through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA.
Chad Mast
Pickerington resident Chad Mast has more than 23 years as a firefighter, the past 10 years including positions of more responsibility and higher seniority.
In addition to his experience, Mast’s résumé boasts extensive training, education and certifications.
Mast began his career with Holmes Fire District 1 in 1994, serving as a firefighter/EMT. He then worked for the Liberty Township Fire Department as a firefighter/paramedic.
Since 2014, he’s been a fire inspector with the Mifflin Township Division of Fire in Gahanna, and he’s been a fire prevention officer with the Jefferson Township Fire Department in Blacklick since 2000.
Since 1999, Mast has also served as a firefighter/paramedic with the Concord Township Fire Department in Delaware.
He attended Bowling Green State University from 2009-2012, earning his Fire Officer I, II, and III certifications.
He then joined the Maxwell Leadership Program with the Ohio Fire Chiefs in Columbus and the Company Officer Leadership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs in Chicago — both in 2010.
He completed fire and explosion investigation training from the Ohio Fire Academy in Reynoldsburg in 2014, and forensic evidence training from the National Fire Academy in Maryland in 2016. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration at Waldorf University.
Arlie L. Colvin II
Arlie L. Colvin II, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, has just shy of 19 years’ experience in the field, 15 of those in leadership roles.
He began his firefighting career in 1998 with the Sellersburg Fire Department in Sellersburg, Indiana.
From 2002-2007, he worked for the Monroe Township Fire Department in Henryville, Indiana, and then became a U.S. Department of Defense contractor in Iraq with WSI Government Solutions. In that position, he rose the ranks from captain to station chief, and then to assistant fire chief.
From 2010-2015, Colvin served as the fire chief/emergency manager of the Bristol Bay Borough Fire Department in Naknek, Alaska.
Home schooled until he graduated in 1998 at the age of 17, Colvin earned his paramedic license in 2004 from the Sellersburg Fire Department and then he became a board certified fire officer in August 2008 from the Alabama Fire College.
He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the American International University with a projected graduation date of May 2018.
Ryan D. Wise
Lancaster-based candidate Ryan D. Wise has a Master’s of Science in Public Safety Administration and successfully wrote two SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grants throughout his career.
He currently serves as captain of the Hebron Fire Department, working his way up the ranks since joining the department as a firefighter in July 2002.
He has also worked as EMS chief of the Richland Township Fire Department in Rushville and climbed the ladder of hierarchy in the Pleasant Township Fire Department — of which he served as assistant chief until June 2015.
Wise obtained his master’s degree in 2015 from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. Prior to that, he graduated from the university with highest honors to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Fire Service Administration. He earned several awards upon receiving his bachelor’s, including a departmental award for having the highest GPA in a public safety program.
Additionally, he graduated with an Associates of Applied Sciences in Fire and Emergency Services in 2012 from Hocking College, and he has received numerous fire, paramedic and incident command certifications.
Jeffrey S. Dawson
The final candidate vying for the chance to be Fostoria’s next fire chief is Jeffrey S. Dawson, of Hamler. With more than 20 years of fire and EMS experience, Dawson boasts extensive training and leadership skills.
Dawson has experience with both part- and full-time fire departments, most recently serving as EMS captain of the Henry County South EMS unit.
He began his career in February 1995 with Napoleon Fire Division, working there until August 2005.
He has also served as EMS lieutenant of McComb EMS, a firefighter/paramedic with the Goose Creek Fire Department, and as a fire lieutenant with the city of Franklin’s fire division.
Currently, Dawson also works part time as the lead fire instructor at Four County Career Center. His part-time work has also led him to the Waterville Fire Department, Northwest Hancock Joint Fire District, the Wauseon Fire Department, Monroe Township Fire and EMS and the Hamler Fire Department, where he is currently a firefighter/paramedic.
In addition to his numerous certifications, Dawson is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire administration.
Mayor Eric Keckler said he hopes to finish assembling the fire chief selection committee this week so the team can get to work on narrowing down candidates for interviews.
As of Friday, the mayor is joined on the committee by Fostoria City Councilman Greg Flores, Assistant City Attorney Barbara Dibble, and former Fire Chief Russ Rife.
A member of the Fostoria Civil Service Commission, as well as a member of the community, have yet to be chosen.

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