Greenwood Township Board of Supervisors approves Fire Chief’s appointments

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2017 — Michael Indihar will serve the Greenwood Township Fire Department as its new Assistant Fire Chief and Tammy Mortaloni will serve as its new Administrative Assistant, the Greenwood Township Board of Supervisors decided at its regular meeting, December 12. Both positions had been filled with temporary appointments while the fire department and town board searched for permanent appointments. Donovan Strong was serving as the Assistant Chief and Howard Ankrum was serving as Administrative Assistant. Fire Chief Dave Fazzio fully recommended both candidates, Indihar and Mortaloni, to the Town Board of Supervisors for its approval.

Two candidates applied for the Assistant Fire Chief position prompting Chairman Dr. John Bassing to lead the town board in a review of each candidate’s resume. Jeff Maus was also a candidate for Assistant Fire Chief.

In the past, Indihar has served Greenwood as a firefighter for 27 and one-half years and was amongst the first group of voluntary Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) to serve the township. He has competed Firefighter I and Firefighter; Wildland Firefighting and Officer trainings.

Maus served Greenwood for the past 11 years as a firefighter and nine years as a Emergency Medical Responder. He submitted an extensive CV outlining his firefighting training experience along with two letters of recommendation.

Noting that township policy requires fire department officers to serve on the department for six months before assuming leadership roles, Bassing moved to approve Maus to fill the Assistant Fire Chief position. Michael Ralston gave support to Bassing’s motion, saying “I will support, for the sake of discussion.” The town board discussed at length Indihar’s service and his past six and one-half years of retirement before returning as an active firefighter about four months ago. Bassing maintained that Indhar was not qualified to fill an officer position because he had only served approximately four months since returning to the department.

“It’s part of our policy. When we didn’t follow policy last time it created problems for the township,” Bassing said. Ralston asked if Indihar was a new fire department hire, or reinstated firefighter, suggesting that if the township considered his service bridged Indihar has more than met the six-month probationary firefighter status as township policy requires. Both Supervisor Larry Tahija and Supervisor Paul Skubic spoke in favor of Indihar, acknowledging that he was the Fire Chief’s choice and that township policy gives the Fire Chief authority to designate department leadership and that the town board gives approval. or rejects, the Chief’s appointments. “We hired a Chief and he has to work with his Assistant Chief. His recommendation is Mike (Indihar). His 27 years of experience speaks for itself,” Skubic said. Tahija also spoke of his support for Indihar and said that he had worked with him for many years and that Indihar was instrumental in establishing EMT service in the township.

Chairman Bassing called the question and the motion to hire Jeff Maus as Assistant Fire Chief failed, with Bassing providing the only vote in favor of the motion.

Supervisor Carmen DeLuca then moved to hire Michael Indihar as the Assistant Fire Chief with Skubic providing support of his motion. This motion passed 4-1, with Bassing providing the dissenting vote.

Without competing applicants to serve as the Fire Department Administrative Assistant, the Town Board of Supervisors quickly gave its full support to Fire Chief Fazzio’s recommendation of appointing Tammy Mortaloni to that position.

This story was updated at 10:45 a.m., Thursday, December 14, 2017 to reflect that Mr. Maus provided the Greenwood Township three letters of reference along with his application for the position of Assistant Fire Chief. originally, and incorrectly, reported that Maus provided two letters of recommendation. We sincerely regret our error.