BRUNSWICK HILLS TWP. — The search for a new fire chief could be over next month, township Trustee Michael Esber said.
Fire Chief Frank Cseh announced his retirement in August and served his last day with the department Sept. 30.
Thanking residents for their support of the Fire Department, he said he was leaving to spend more time with his family.
“I got remarried about five years ago, and I told my wife I’d be leaving the department soon,” Cseh, who also spends about 10 hours a day at his full-time job, said Tuesday. “It felt like a good stopping point for me.
Cseh served as chief for more than eight years and served the department for a total of 25 years.
“It’s time for someone else to give it a try,” he said.
Cseh said his biggest success was adding more fully staffed hours for firefighters and EMTs to serve the township.
“When I started, we staffed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week,” he said. “We moved it up to seven days a week and now we go from 6 a.m. to midnight.”
Cseh said adding evening hours greatly improved response times.
Overnight, staff members respond from home.
“They deserve 24-hour coverage, which I think the budget does support, but it’s up to the trustees to decide that,” he said.
Assistant Chief Tim Haas is serving as interim chief.
Esber said Tuesday the township is getting help from fire chiefs in Strongsville and Hinckley and Granger townships to sort through the 30 applications for the post.
“They’ve slimmed it down to 13 and then to seven,” Esber said. They’ll do personal interviews this month and reduce it to three or four that we’ll interview as trustees.”
Esber said all the applications the township received were strong.
“They’re unbelievable,” he said. “They’re all very qualified,’ Esber said.
He couldn’t say how much the new chief would earn as a part-time employee, but said Cseh earned about $32,000 annually.
“The salary is something we’ll negotiate based on experience and skills when we hire,” Esber said.
He wouldn’t say whether current members of the Fire Department are being considered for the position, but said any candidate would have to live in or near Brunswick Hills to be able to respond to a major fire or accident quickly.
“If they’re not a resident, they’ll need to live nearby,” he said.
Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.