Interim Ohio fire chief not certified as firefighter, medic

He won't be in command on a fire scene; instead he'll manage the department and assist in transitioning to a new chief

OLMSTED TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Township trustees introduced new interim Fire Chief Peter Nelson Wednesday night, but the meet-and-greet turned confrontational when one member of the audience challenged his qualifications.

Nelson is not certified as a firefighter or paramedic. Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Dale Pelsozy, who serves as the township's legal counsel, said Nelson, the former Independence fire chief, is qualified to serve in what is an administrative role.

Pelsozy said fire department lieutenants would be in charge at fire scenes, with Nelson's duties restricted to overseeing other department operations. Nelson retired four years ago after heading the Independence Fire Department for about 18 years. Township trustees Monday awarded him a $50-an-hour contract for about 24 hours per week to serve as interim fire chief and consultant.

Full story: Olmsted Township interim fire chief not certified as firefighter, paramedic

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