Assistant Fire Chief

Classifieds , Careers ,

Position: Assistant Fire Chief

Position summary

Plain Township is seeking an Assistant Fire Chief who will succeed the current Fire Chief within 12 months. The Plain Township Fire Chief plans to retire at the end of 2022 after 20 years of service to Plain Township, including 18 years as assistant fire chief, and 49 years of total fire service. 

Plain Township is recruiting a servant leader and skilled manager to serve as its Assistant Fire Chief. The ideal candidate is an experienced, trustworthy, and passionate professional with a commitment to providing exceptional service. The Assistant Fire Chief will be a visionary, forward-thinking, and innovative individual who is aware of emerging trends in the fire service, technological advancements, health and wellness, and best practices.

The Assistant Fire Chief will need to balance the needs of the Fire Department with the collective needs of the Township, demonstrating political astuteness. The Assistant Fire Chief must be able to maintain a professional, composed presence at all times and work well under pressure, demonstrating flexibility and adaptability as situations change, and make well-informed, data-driven decisions.

A collaborator and relationship builder, the Assistant Fire Chief will lead by example and unite employees with a shared sense of purpose. A proven track record of developing personnel and providing opportunities for professional growth is essential. The selected candidate will have effective conflict management skills, always handling sensitive issues with tact and diplomacy, and maintain a culture of accountability.

The Assistant Fire Chief must be an assertive, outgoing individual with excellent communication skills and will have an open-door policy with staff and citizens to maintain a high level of engagement and transparency.  It is important that the Assistant Fire Chief maintain the positive reputation and presence of the Fire Department in the community. The Fire Department is funded with four permanent levies and enjoys generous support  of the community including 100% Non-Fire residential TIFs.


Plain Township is located northeast of Columbus, Ohio in Franklin County. Plain Township serves the City of New Albany within Franklin County and serves a combined area of 13,000 residents. The City of New Albany is known as a progressive and growing community with a number of Fortune 500 headquarters and a diverse mix of commercial development. Boasting a top 20 school district, McCoy Center for the Arts, Hinson Amphitheater, award winning parks and a thriving health culture, this is a great place to call home. 

Located along Highway 161, Plain Township enjoys easy access to recreational and cultural opportunities of Columbus and quick access to John Glenn International Airport. Columbus is the 14th largest city in the United States and a thriving hub of innovation and technology. It’s also a sports town including The Ohio State University Buckeyes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew and Columbus Clippers. Columbus also offers the award-winning Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, Columbus Museum of Art, Center of Science and Industry and a robust music and art scene.

The community population of 13,000 nearly doubles to a daytime population of 25,000. New Albany public schools serve 5,000 students in K-12 on a single campus. Commercial development includes large employment centers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, American Electric Power and Commercial campuses include warehousing, manufacturing and supply chain. 

Within the City of New Albany, the median household income is over $200,000 and the average home value is over $500,000. The housing stock is atypical with the average home size exceeding 5,000 square feet. The built environment of New Albany makes this a unique community to serve.

Key Priorities

(1)        Develop a comprehensive operating and capital budget for the fire department including an equipment replacement schedule and facility maintenance schedule.

(2)        Advance the department’s professional development program through coaching and mentoring officers, and identifying development opportunities and training that focus on succession planning to address future retirements. Identify opportunities to recruit and hire additional firefighters as needed.

(3)        Develop community relationships with key stakeholders to strengthen community risk reduction and work to proactively and progressively improve community safety.

(4)        Develop policies and programs to improve health and safety outcomes for department personnel while incorporating emerging science and technology.

(5)        Develop a plan to maintain service levels in a growing community with road network and traffic challenges.

Fire Department

The Plain Township Fire Department is a professionally staffed department that earned a Public Protection Classification rating of 2 from the Insurance Services Organization in 2018. Twelve shift firefighters are assigned to each unit working 24/48 with Kelly days. Two peak shift firefighters work each Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday to supplement daytime run volume. Department leadership is currently comprised of a Chief, 3 Battalion Chiefs, 3 Captains, and 3 Lieutenants. 

The department operates out of a single station centrally located in the center of the service area covering 15 square miles. The department responded to 2,600 emergency runs in 2020. The department cross staffs a ladder, engine rescue and three medics daily. Mutual aid is provided by surrounding departments. 


Minimum of ten (10) years of progressive responsibility in fire or emergency work with at least five (5) years as a captain, shift commander or higher.

Completion of Fire Officer I & II is required. Completion of Ohio Fire Executive Program or Executive Fire Officer Program is strongly desired. A bachelor’s degree in fire science, public administration or closely related field is strongly desired. State of Ohio Firefighter II and Paramedic certificates and NIMS ICS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700 and 800 are required.

Ability to successfully pass a comprehensive background investigation as well as a pre-employment physical. See position description for full list of requirements. 

Due to the need to respond to emergency situations, the successful candidate must establish residency within Franklin County or a contiguous county within 6 months of hire.

Ideal Candidate

The Assistant Fire Chief is expected to take over the role of Fire Chief within 12 months. The successful candidate must be an excellent communicator and active listener. This position will guide the future of the department, is a key member of the township’s executive team, and provides leadership throughout the community as a key collaborator for community safety. The ideal candidate will be engaging and personable and able to develop support within the community. Candidates must have command and/or operational experience in all aspects of EMS, fire suppression and prevention. 

The successful candidate must be politically savvy, approachable, inclusive, and team-oriented while being committed to developing leadership within the department.

The Assistant Chief must be collaborative, results oriented, and data driven. The Assistant Chief must possess personal integrity and honesty while holding others accountable for performance. The successful candidate is expected to develop command staff and to ensure best in class service delivery. The Assistant chief must possess a coaching and mentoring leadership style while building trust and respect within the department. 

The successful candidate will have budgeting experience, with strategic awareness of the township’s financial position and the impact of financial decisions. 

Form of Government

Plain Township was established as a civil township in 1810. The township is governed by three elected trustees and an elected fiscal officer. The Board of Trustees appoints a Township Administrator to manage the township government, and the fire chief reports to the township administrator. Plain Township’s 2020 expenditures totaled $9.8 Million including $7.7 Million in Fire Department spending. There are 56 fulltime township employees including 42 fulltime fire department employees, of which 38 are firefighters.

Compensation and Benefits

The selected candidate is expected to begin employment in December or January. Total compensation for the position is $120,000 to $133,000 including the employee share of Ohio Police & Fire Pension, which is paid as a fringe benefit. Paid Medical, Vision, and Dental insurance provided and $50,000 in life insurance. 11 paid holidays and 130 hours of sick leave annually. Fire Chief take home vehicle provided.

Application and Selection Process

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, copy of credentials and resume to Township Administrator Ben Collins at by September 30. Initial review of applications will begin on September 15. Initial interviews will be scheduled in October. 

Plain Township Fire Department

9500 Johnstown Road                                                                                                                                                                     

New Albany, Ohio 43054

For the complete job description, please click here.