MOUNT VERNON — Chad Christopher took the oath of office Friday morning as the city’s tenth fire chief. Mayor Richard Mavis administered the oath in a ceremony in City Hall’s Council Chambers attended by family members, friends, firefighters and city officials.
Christopher’s wife, Melody, pinned his new badge to his uniform after the ceremony.
“This is an exciting day,” Christopher told the gathering. “Things have been happening fast and I’m anxious to get started. We have a great group of guys and I’m looking to move forward.”
Christopher, 39, has been a member of the department since 2001.
“I set goals high when I started,” he said. “This happened fast, but the opportunity came and I was ready to go for it.
“Chief (Chris) Menapace left things in great shape, and I hope to continue that path and see what happens. We have a lot of good programs in place.”
He looks forward to the challenge of continuing to work for the citizens of Mount Vernon and keeping the city on the cutting edge of fire and EMS technology.
“I’m very proud of him; it’s a big accomplishment,” said Melody Christopher. “He has worked hard the past 13 years.”
Also attending were the Christopher’s two daughters, Addison and Alyse.
The new chief’s parents, Joe and Cheryl Christopher, were both on hand.
“I couldn’t be prouder,” said his mother. “His grandfather (Chuck Dice) would be proud. I’ve always been proud to say my son was a firefighter, but a mother’s fear always kicks in when a fire starts.
“We’ll support him in every way we can.”
His father echoed his wife’s comments and added that it seems like only yesterday when he went with Chad to Cleveland 13 years ago to take the agility test he needed to be hired.
Christopher’s swearing in as the new fire chief has created a vacancy at captain in the department. Lieutenants Jay Laymon and Mike Triesh are both eligible for the post, based on the last test for the position given less than two years ago.
The city will eventually have to schedule a test for new firefighters, as one position is sure to open up and a couple more retirements are possible in the coming year.
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