Newly hired firefighter means four on a crew

EAST LIVERPOOL – As promised by Mayor Jim Swoger, the fire department is now up to four men per crew after a local man was sworn in as a full-time firefighter Friday morning.

Joshua Hissom, son of Mark and Elaine Hissom, was administered the oath of office by Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers Emmerling with his family, friends and city officials in attendance.

A 2004 East Liverpool High School graduate, Hissom is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp, where he was involved in Intelligence, Medical, a Scout Sniper and diesel mechanic, all of which fire Chief Bill Jones said will be of invaluable use to the department, even though he is currently not trained as a firefighter.

Hissom is tentatively scheduled to begin his Firefighter Level II training at Stark State College on Sept.8 but, until then, he will be working Monday through Friday at Central Station.

Jones said that, despite his lack of fire training, Hissom will be going on calls and fires, doing hydrant flushing and familiarizing himself with city streets until he begins his classes.

“He has a lot of other skill sets with his military training that will work well with our department,” Jones said, specifically noting Hissom’s diesel mechanic and construction background.

His hiring brings the department up to 12 firefighters and the chief, and once fireman Jeff Zehnder retires next year, Jones said, he expects another firefighter to be hired to maintain four men per crew as Swoger had pledged at a recent City Council meeting.

Antony Cumo was recently hired as a firefighter from the list of candidates, replacing retiring assistant chief Tim Walker.

Council had set aside $60,000 to hire one firefighter, and a competitive Civil Service exam was held, as was an agility test to provide a list of candidates.

Recently, Councilman Ray Perorazio a retired city firefighter insisted that the department be brought to the minimum of four firefighters per crew.

Although Auditor Kim Woomer had cautioned council the budget might not support such a move, Swoger pledged that he would make sure it happened.