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(Video) Northfield Village boosts fire department rolls, commends firefighters

by Briana Barker | Reporter Published: September 21, 2016 12:00 AM
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Northfield Village -- Northfield Village hired six new part-time, and one full-time firefighter Sept. 14 after the department four lost firefighters to other communities in the last month.

Fire Chief Jason Buss said none of the firefighters who left went to Macedonia, which is gearing up to handle Northfield Center and Sagamore Hills.

However, he did says the high turn-over rate is something his department is always dealing with.

"Most of the guys leave for full-time jobs, and usually once you get full-time you are not allowed to work for other departments during your probation period," Buss said. "I have some listed as 'on leave,' but sometimes they just don't come back. They get adjusted to a schedule they like at the new department and don't want to work as much."

Buss said another factor is higher pay, adding the village just can't compete with other department's compensation.

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There are currently three full-time firefighters in Northfield Village with the addition of John Walendzik, who was sworn in during the Sept. 14 meeting. Also sworn in were Raymond DiSanto, William Millard, Andrew Miller, Matthew O'Donnell, Luke Sawyer and Matthew Taylor as part-time firefighters.

The village hall was a packed house, not only for the new firefighters joining the department, but also to celebrate five firefigthers who received commendations for their work responding to two separate heart attack calls on Aug. 13, both at the Hard Rock Rocksino.

"Two visitors went into cardiac arrest -- their hearts stopped beating and they were not breathing," Buss said. "Both these patients received the full medical care our squad can give through our advance cardiac life support ... before reaching Ahuja Medical Center both patients had a heartbeat back and both were breathing on their own.

"Each year there is about 395,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, it's the number three killer of Americans behind cancer and heart disease, of those 395,000 cases only six percent of them will survive, so it's a pretty big deal that both these patients survived and even walked out of the hospital a few days later," Buss said.

With that, Buss called Paul Wojtkiewicz, Courtney Root, Lt. Tim Cingel, Joe Hongosh and Lt. Chris Hrach to the front of Council Chambers to be recognized.

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Also in attendance was former Fire Chief Frank Risko, who turned over the keys to the former Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District to Macedonia Fire Chief Tim Black earlier that day. Buss thanked Risko and the department for its support over the years.

"Their department always performed professionally. I would let them treat my own family," Buss said. "It was a tremendous department with great guys."

Buss said the district firefighter's association donated the station's kitchen table to Northfield Village Fire Department, among other items.

"The kitchen table is the heart and soul of the fire house," Buss said. "That's where we complain about everything, solve problems, where we sit and talk to people. Everyone's friends at the kitchen table. We sit down and we have dinner together no matter what's going on. It means a lot more in the fire service when you sit down at the kitchen table."

Risko said he is happy for his guys who were hired by Northfield Village and added he would consider joining the Northfield Village Fire Department if he were younger.

Briana Barker: 330-541-9432




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