Thomas Readies for Takeover

Local News

The news of Kevin Thomas’ promotion to Chief of the Zanesville Fire Department hasn’t yet sunk in for him.

Monday, the Deputy Fire Chief will be sworn in as the new Chief. The 47-year-old as 21-years with the department and scored the highest on a civil service exam.

"I’m a little apprehensive," said Thomas. "I’m really going to miss being an assistant chief and a turn boss because you’re working closer to the men in that way, but I’m looking forward to the challenges it will present."

Thomas said he has only broad ideas at this time on how to make changes in the department, but said he wants input from all the men because they have good ideas on making the department better.

The movement of Thomas to Chief and Eric Waltemire to Deputy Chief does present some logistical issues.

"The biggest challenge is with myself being promoted and Eric being promoted to Deputy Chief, we have two Lieutenants being promoted to Assistant Chief and two firefighters being promoted to Lieutenants. All that’s happening over the next four weeks, so right now it’s just a personnel juggling act."

The moves leave the department one short of their maximum allotment of firefighters. Thomas said they’ll review the budget before deciding whether or not to hire a new firefighter. 

Thomas replaces 32-year veteran Craig Stemm who was promoted to interim chief in January of 2011. 

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