Leading a fire department has always been a dream of Mark Pitzer’s, and that dream came true Thursday when the board of trustees announced its decision to hire Pitzer as the township’s new fire chief.
“Ever since I got involved in the fire service, I’ve always aspired to be a fire chief,” Pitzer said. “To achieve this is absolutely fantastic...We have fantastic firefighters and I could not be more excited to be a leader for the Boardman Fire Department.”
Born and raised in Canfield, Pitzer, 34, joined Canfield Fire Department as a part-time firefighter as soon as he graduated from Canfield High School in 1999. He trained there for several years while attending Youngstown State University and becoming a paramedic. In 2003, he was one of the first three full-time firefighters to be hired in the history of the department.
Pitzer joined Boardman’s department in 2003. He was furloughed in March 2008 as a result of financial difficulties in the department. After that, he took a hiatus from fire service and worked as a supervisor for Lane LifeTRANS, an emergency medical service company.
In 2010, Pitzer left the Valley for a firefighter job in Fairfax,Va.
It’s one of the top five fire departments in the country,” Pitzer said. “I received a lot of training, a lot of experience down there.”
In 2011, he was able to come home for good when Boardman department received a grant which allowed for the rehire of some of the laid-off firefighters.
Pitzer, along with four other members of Boardman’s department, applied for the fire chief position when Chief George Brown announced his retirement in May.
Pitzer will start as interim chief immediately.
Read more about the selection process and the new chief in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.