April 18, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Brunswick Hills fire chief heads to ‘growing community’

BRUNSWICK HILLS TWP. — The township has hired a new fire chief to take the place of Frank Cseh, who retired after 25 years in August.

Brunswick Hills Fire Chief Anthony Strazzo and his son Joe, 4, pose for a photo after Strazzo was sworn in as fire chief last week. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Anthony Strazzo was selected from about 30 candidates for the part-time chief position. Strazzo also serves as a full-time lieutenant with the city of Beachwood, and worked part time with the city of Broadview Heights until taking the Brunswick Hills job.

“To be honest, I think Brunswick Hills is similar to Broadview Heights,” he said. “It’s a growing community and there are a lot of opportunities.”

Township Trustee Mike Esber said trustees had other area fire chiefs help them review applications and narrow the field to seven. He said Strazzo stood out in his interview and seemed well prepared.

Strazzo said his experience with Beachwood and Broadview Heights gave him experience in a part- and full-time department. He said that experience could come in handy as the Hills department looks to how it can serve the needs of the community in the future.

“I have to conduct an evaluation of the township and look at where the needs are and develop a strategic plan,” he said, when asked if he plans to keep the department at part-time staffing or make changes.

In addition to his fire experience, Strazzo is also a tactical medic for the Beachwood Police Department’s SWAT Team where he has 14 years of experience as a commissioned police officer and serves as the medic coordinator for the Eastern Department Group Enforcement SWAT team, which includes five communities in the Cleveland area. He’s also a certified paramedic, fire instructor, fire safety inspector and hazardous materials technician.

Strazzo said he thinks he will work well with township officials.

“They’ve explained what they’d like to see in the township and I think we really agree,” he said.

Esber said Strazzo’s salary would be finalized in the 2014 budget, which trustees are drafting now.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.