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Mohawk Valley firefighters face discipline

By DAVID HUTTON The Press-News Published: August 12, 2016 10:00 AM

SANDY TWP. -- The Mohawk Valley Joint Fire District has issued charge letters to four members of the department who have failed to keep up on their training hours.

Following a brief closed-door session to discuss personnel, Fire Chief Jim Marraccini, who had been charted by the district board with investigating the violation of standard operating procedures, unveiled his findings.

The four firefighters are Dan Barnes, Kelly Barnes, Johnny Butler and Zack Wagner.

"The four employees are delinquent on their CE hours," Marraccini said. "They have made no calls."

According to the fire district's procedures, which were adopted in March 2015, each employee shall be required to attend 18 hours of continuing education per year. In addition, firefighters are expected to respond to emergency and service calls on a regular basis.

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Employees also are responsible for tracking and maintaining state-mandated continuing education hours.

Charge letters will be sent to the four by certified mail. A special hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at the fire station, giving them a chance to answer the allegations and make their case.

According to Marraccini, this is the latest step in the process to get the firefighters in compliance. He said they were first notified that they were out of compliance in June 2015.

According to the fire district's standard operating procedures, the board can suspend the employees. The removal of a member of the fire district requires a two-thirds vote of the elected board trustees.

If the board votes for removal, an appeal can be made to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas to determine if there was sufficient cause for removal. An appeal must be made within 10 days.

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In other business, Marraccini told the board he is looking into a grant from State Farm that would offer find for auto and roadway safety and emergency preparedness. He added that there still has been no determination on two other grants the district is seeking.

Marraccini also told the board that district officials will meet with representatives of the Stark County Sheriff's Office to learn about a new radio system the sheriff's office is installing.

"We are going to inquire about getting on this system," he said.

Sheriff's office officials will meet with representatives from Quad Ambulance, Magnolia Fire, Magnolia Police and East Sparta Fire at the Quad Ambulance facility on Aug. 25.

In other business, the district board:

/ PAID bills totaling $1,618.97;

/ LEARNED that a presentation on a new website for the fire district will be held at the next meeting;

/ LEARNED that board member Albert Woodin will check on prices for a used plow for the Kubota.

The next meeting of the Mohawk Valley Joint Fire District is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the fire station, located at 8285 Waynesburg Drive.


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