Saturday, April 20, 2002

Anderson finds chief within

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — The township's board of trustees has chosen Assistant Fire Chief Mark Ober to succeed Fire Chief Dan Esslinger, who is retiring May 4 after serving as chief since October 1996.

        Asst. Chief Ober, 44, who began with the Anderson Township Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter in 1976, will negotiate the terms and conditions of his job with Henry Dolive, township administrator, before formally taking over as chief.

        Asst. Chief Ober was chosen from among three candidates screened by a search committee — which included township officials and fire officials from other communities — and interviewed by the board of trustees.

        “There were a number of qualified candidates,” said Trustee Al Peter. “We had candidates from as far away as Wisconsin and Illinois.”

        Said Trustee Peggy Reis, “I consider this one of the most important decisions I might make as your trustee. He's highly qualified and we're excited about it.”

        Asst. Chief Ober has been with the fire department 26 years. He became a full-time firefighter with the department in 1977, was promoted to lieutenant in 1982 and to assistant fire chief in 1994.

        Chief Esslinger, 54, has been a firefighter since 1968, working for the Cincinnati Fire Division before joining the Anderson Township Fire Department in 1973.

        “He is someone who will always give 110 percent,” the chief said of Asst. Chief Ober. “He has the capability of continuing and improving what we have going in the township.”

        The township has about 60 firefighters and operates four fire stations.


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