Joshua Morrison/News The Mount Vernon Fire Department Friday unveiled Ladder 491. The fire truck, with its orange and black color scheme inspired by the Mount Vernon High School colors, will begin service after training sessions in mid-January. The truck was built in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and can carry four firefighters.


MOUNT VERNON — Four new employees and a new fire truck highlighted the year for the Mount Vernon Fire Department.

The department was able to add a person to each crew as a result of the 0.5 percent income tax increase approved in 2017. The fourth new employee replaced one who resigned.

The new personnel are Nicholas Light, Caleb Haught, Kyle Campbell and Brandon May.

John Lester received the 2018 Firefighter of the Year Award, while Erick Fisher, Nick Kidd and Brandon May received the Unit Commendation Ribbon for EMS for their outstanding work on Oct. 30 when they responded to a motorcycle accident and were able to save the patient’s life.

The new fire truck arrived in December. It is a Rosenbauer mid-mount ladder truck with a 75-foot ladder. It replaces a 1992 ladder truck and will be better able to maneuver through the community than the old truck.

  • Joshua Morrison/News Mount Vernon Firefighters Tuesday used the rear second floor apartment of the Office Bar, 20 East Ohio Avenue to learn self-rescue techniques. Under the watchful eye of Josh Lester, Chatfield Redick lowers himself down, using a piece of rope, called webbing tied to a fire axe. The Mount Vernon Fire Department has been using the soon to be demolished building for all aspects of training. At the same time, just up the street, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Unit was training in a house.
  • Joshua Morrison/News Thursday, Brandon May, left and Marvin Haught, were sworn in as the newest members of the Mount Vernon Fire Department. Both swore an oath in front of their fellow firefighters and family, then received their MVFD badges. May is also trained as an EMT and Haught is a paramedic.
  • Fred Main/News The Mount Vernon Fire Department promoted two firefighter/EMTs and two new firefighter/EMTs took the oath from Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis during a ceremony Tuesday at Council Chambers in City Hall. From left are, Kyle Campbell, new firefighter/EMT; Joshua Lester, promoted to lieutenant; Trevor Williams, promoted to captain; and Nicholas Light, new firefighter/EMT.
  • Joshua Morrison/News Mount Vernon Fire Department responded to a fire at Republic Waste Of Ohio, 107 Tilden Ave., Thursday. Firefighters arrived to find a semi trailer full of garbage that had caught fire. On the ladder is Lt. J.D. Burke, who put the flames out. Firefighters were on the scene for about a half an hour. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
  • Joshua Morrison/News A specialized training for emergency medicap personnel, firefighters and law enforcement took place at Premiere Theaters, 11535 Upper Gilchrist Road, Tuesday. The training involved strategic movement of first responders to better assess and move the injured during an active situation. Fourteen Knox County agencies and organizations were involved in the training.
  • Joshua Morrison/News Friday, a group of children toured the Mount Vernon Fire Department and thanked the firefighters for their service. Joshua Morrison/News Friday, a group of children toured the Mount Vernon Fire Department and thanked the firefighters for their service.
  • Joshua Morrison/News Mount Vernon firefighter Chad Chenault puts out a mulch fire at the Huntington Bank, 324 S. Main St., Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters were on the scene for 20 minutes watching for flare ups.
  • Joshua Morrison/News Tuesday morning, the Mount Vernon Fire Department responded to a fire in a garage at 229 Newark Road. Black smoke could be seen pouring out of the garage. Firefighters Jared McCann and David Miller went into the garage first carrying hoses with Lieutenant Todd Davis following right behind them. Firefighters were on the scene for around 45 minutes.

The department, along with Fredericktown EMA, Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Fredericktown Police Department were leaders in developing, training and implementing a Rescue Task Force.

Total number of runs declined slightly in 2018, with the department answering 5,320 calls, just short of the record 5,367 set in 2017. Of the total, 4,150 were EMS calls 1,170 were fire calls. The busiest month was July, with 524 fire and EMS runs.

Of the total EMA runs, 3,398 were billable transports and the department collected more than $850,000 from EMS billings, an average of $260 per transport.

A new fitness program was implemented in which each spring personnel undergo a physical assessment which consists of a seven-circuit course that incorporates several firefighting functions and must be completed in 17 minutes.

All personnel passed the assessment this year.

The department added as chaplain Marvin Haught, pastor of Brandon Baptist Church and a volunteer firefighter for Homer Fire Department. He also serves on the Board of Public Safety with the Knox County Career Center Adult Education, is a member of the Mount Vernon Association of Police Chaplains and is a member of the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team.

Trevor Williams was promoted to shift captain on July 1 and Josh Lester was promoted to lieutenant on July 31 and serves as EMS Coordinator Lieutenant.

Grants and community support provided valuable equipment for the department. A Bureau of Worker’s Compensation Safety Grant provided $10,000 for an industrial strength washing machine used to clean fire gear after a fire or a hazardous environment situation.

Baldwin Shrine Club purchased a Pedi-Mate Plus and a Neo-Mate Plus restraint system for one of the medics, giving them the ability to properly transport children less than 10 pounds and children from 10 to 100 pounds in the squad. The Shriners also purchased a thermal image camera, which allows firefighters to see heat signatures through non-visible environments such as smoke during search and rescue incidents.

The third annual Rastin Challenge was another success, with Mount Vernon teams taking second in both events and Jared McCann setting a record in the tower climb by making it to the top in full fire gear in 54 seconds.

Mike Davis received the first $500 scholarship.


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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