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Search begins for Strasburg’s next fire chief

| June 20, 2024

STRASBURG (WJER) (June 20, 2024) – The village’s fire chief is resigning over recent employment changes that he says have affected him professionally and personally.

Steven Laskey is stepping down after June 28th to work for the Canal Fulton Fire Department as its retention and recruitment coordinator. He says he enjoyed his more than two years as chief but had to do what was best for himself and his family.

“Some things have changed as far as my conditions of employment and some other things. The relationship with the administration has changed and it has just come to a point where it’s time to move on.”

Laskey became Strasburg’s first full-time chief in 2022 and led the previously all-volunteer department’s transition to a 24-7 operation with part-time staffing. The mayor at the time came to Tuesday’s council meeting to thank Laskey for his service.

“I think he brought a wealth of knowledge to the department, and I think he is leaving the department in better shape that it was in when he took over,” Steve Smith said.

The village has already advertised the full-time position through the local newspaper, the Ohio Municipal League, and on the village’s website. Mayor Bruce Metzger says a committee will be formed to narrow the search and make a hiring recommendation for council to vote on.

It’ll probably be some council members and myself and the village administrator and probably a township trustee at this time, and then we might look into having the Ohio Chiefs Association do an interview to see what they think.”

The outgoing chief replaced Andy Slemmer, who started leading the department when Dan Varner resigned in 2019. Slemmer got demoted after council made his position full-time and offered it to Laskey and later resigned. 

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