Bath promotes lieutenant to assistant fire chief

by Sheldon Ocker

July 10 township trustees meeting

Long-time Bath Township Fire Lieutenant John Rodriguez was sworn in as the township’s assistant chief.

“This is a process that’s been in the works for some time,” Fire Chief Rob Campbell said. “We had an independent company come in and do an assessment of all three lieutenants who were interested in the position. … Rodriguez was far ahead in that process.”

Campbell said that Rodriguez has been a member of Bath Fire a few weeks shy of 25 years.

“He clearly showed to be the top candidate,” Campbell said. “The last few years operating without an assistant chief, he has been instrumental not only in trying to run the ship … he has helped me with administrative things.’’

Also sworn-in as a full-time firefighter/paramedic was another veteran employee, Michael Jones.

According to Campbell, Jones has been a part-time member of the Bath department for more than a decade, starting as an intern when he was enrolled in the University of Akron’s Firefighter Academy.

“He became full time in Copley about six years ago but stayed part-time at Bath,” Campbell said. “He has pursued a lot of additional education.”

Trustees approved removing Rachel Rexroad from probationary status, enabling her to become a full-time firefighter/paramedic.

“I am thrilled that we have a female on our firefighter/paramedic force,” said trustees President Sharon Troike. “Not to be sexist, but there are things that she can approach and do that, quite frankly, men cannot do.”

Campbell announced he has applied for the Ohio Ambulance Transportation program grant, a one-time initiative by the state to supplement the income of paramedics who were inundated with work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the chief, the money has been set aside for each community, and Bath can receive its allotted $20,000 by filing the proper application.

The volume of calls Bath Fire answers is increasing. Campbell said the yearly total reached 828 through June: 543 EMS, 285 fire.

“We continue to trend upward in terms of our monthly call volume,” Campbell said. “At this point, we are about 90 ahead of where we were last year.”

This is the third consecutive year of the upward trend.

Police items

Trustees ratified the police department’s request to buy software from Aladtec for $3,624 that makes it easier to keep track of police personnel schedules.

Also approved was a request for $4,950 to purchase one Motorola portable radio and accessories for police officer use.

Both police Sgt. Kevin Moats and Campbell told trustees that the annual Safety Town program for students was a success, attracting 160 kids and 147 volunteers. It was the third consecutive year that Bath and Richfield held a joint Safety Town event.

In other action

  • Zoning Inspector/Planning Director Bill Funk said a site plan has been approved for a proposed bed and breakfast on Hale Farm property. The venue was a home on acreage known as the Cranz Farm.Trustee Sean Gaffney said the National Park Service will have to approve the B&B because it lies within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
  • Trustees approved paying Miller Roofing and Exteriors $22,500 to install a new roof on a structure in North Fork Preserve.
  • Trustees ratified a request to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition for a $10,000 grant for trail improvements at North Fork Preserve. ∞