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Frost III to succeed father as Austintown fire chief


Published: Fri, December 7, 2012 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Susan Tebben

stebben@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

Austintown Fire Department will not see a big change in its ranks after Monday night, nor will it see a name change for the chief.

Township trustees said they have decided to keep interim chief Andrew Frost III as the official chief of the department.

“It’s a big step,” Frost said. “But my family supported me, and they were behind me whatever decision I made. I think it’s going to be a great thing.”

Frost follows in the footsteps of his father, Andrew Frost Jr., who retired as chief in August 2012 after two decades as chief and four decades on the force.

Trustees said Frost III was the easy choice for chief since he was put in as interim chief when his father retired.

“It was the intent when he was put in as assistant chief that he was in line to become the chief,” said trustee David Ditzler. “He is absolutely the most qualified to do the job.”

Frost III went through physical tests, written tests and interviews along with other members of the department to become assistant chief.

Ditzler along with fellow trustees Jim Davis and Lisa Oles cited Frost’s experience, leadership and the $3 million in grants Frost III had obtained for the department as high marks for his candidacy to be chief.

“His job duties as assistant chief set him apart from all others,” Davis said. “I could not picture the Austintown Fire Department without Andy Frost.”

The former chief expressed the same sentiment about his son.

“All he’s ever known is the Austintown Fire Department,” Frost Jr., said by phone Wednesday. “We have the same passion for it, and I couldn’t be more happy.”

Frost III said he plans on maintaining the department his father led, which is built on the firefighters and staff.

“It’s all been around our guys, and I have no reason to change any of that,” Frost III said.

Other local officials also expressed their confidence in the new appointment.

“We’ve always had a good working relationship and I think he’ll do a great job,” said Austintown police chief Bob Gavalier, who worked with both Frost Jr. and Frost III in his tenure as police chief.

Though she gave praise to Frost III, Oles said she had hoped for more interviews with other candidates before making a decision to vote on the younger Frost’s appointment.

“I felt the job vacancy should have been posted,” Oles said Wednesday. “Jim Davis was not in office [when Frost Jr., retired] and I felt Jim was missing out on that process.”

But with his “admirable” job as assistant chief and with the respect of the department on his side, Oles said Frost III’s appointment was a good one.

“I think with the passing of the levies in the township to help the fire department, that was a direct reflection of his work and his leadership within that department.”

Frost III’s annual salary will be $72,322, according to township administrator Mike Dockry.

The first thing on the new chief’s agenda is filling his spot as assistant chief and hiring up from the part-time ranks to fill his full-time staff.

He already has an equipment grant waiting to be used as well. The department just finalized receipt of an $80,000 grant to be used for turnout gear and improved radios.


Comments

1AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

It is reassuring to the taxpayers that the trustees searched high and low for the most qualified available person in the nation to lead our fire department. (High and low at the fire station, that is.)

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2gdog4766(1490 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Nepotism at its finest.

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3slappysmith(55 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

great choice, why look all over the nation when you have someone with A+ qualifications already there. Andy III has not only proved that during his career but also has knowledge that an outsider would take years to acquire. excellent choice. the citizens of Austintown should be proud.

despite gdogs stupid accusation and atown's equally stupid comment

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4rickking123(292 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Is it stupid to believe that jobs funded by taxpayers should be filled though an open and impartial process? and not based on nepotism and patronage.

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5Bigfish(1 comment)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

This is unbelieveable! This happens all the time in private business, but public jobs! This should be investigated by the federal government! And the deal where police and fire retire 3 yrs early and allowed to keep working while all 3 yrs they double dip collecting the retirement and full pay while the second pay goes into a separate fund to collect in a lump sum when they quit working! Or Ohio state patrol retire after only 20 yrs of working! Private workers pay for all of this crooked stuff thanks to secret public union deals, remember this next time a levy comes up!!

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61970mach1(1005 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

He has worked there for years, they were familiar with him, and he has done the job on an interim level.

Obviously they feel very comfortable with his ablities, and so why have a dog and pony show of bringing others in when they already know he is their guy?

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7Archie1(15 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Congratulations to Chief Frost III and the Austintown Township Trustees. This decision was a no brainer. This fine gentleman has secured over 3 million dollars in grant money for our fire dept. He has total support from the firefighters and knows the job. He is by far over qualified for this position. We are very fortunate to have someone of this caliber to fill this important job. Our hope is that he stay with us for many years and continues to build upon his father's accomplishments. It's a proud day in Austintown and I'm glad to see it !!! Keep up the GOOD WORK Chief!!

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8rickking123(292 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Austintown will never know if it hired the MOST Qualified person for the position since the MOST Qualified person may never have been given the opportunity to apply for the job. These are public positions that are being filled not some small family run business with no accountability to the general public.

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9fd6636(255 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I see, Its ok in the corporation if somebody blows and sleeps and kisses up tp the top, excluding their qualifications?? BEEN THERE!!! AFD took the guy who knew the system and was a perfect fit that cost the tax payers LESS in the long run than if they had to pay large amounts of money to have a search for the job, and then to train them to AFD's systems. Its called more bang for the taxpayer buck, you idiots!!! Quit ur winning and bitc##en, please. Know what your talking about before you post!

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