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Chelsea Area Fire Authority top 3 firefighter candidates chosen

The field of possible firefighter candidates was whittled down to five following testing and to three following a series of interviews by a panel of fire officials.

The top three candidates are from Lake Orion, Onstead and the Dexter area said Chelsea Fire Chief Rob Arbini at the Chelsea Area Fire Authority meeting on April 16.

The candidates took a written test through Schoolcraft College. The top five were then interviewed by a panel of veteran fire officials that consisted of former employee Steve Taylor, former interim chief Jon Ichesco and Westland Fire captain Kyle Soyko.

After the oral boards with the panel, the candidates then met with the chief and were asked 10 questions by Arbini.

Following these steps, the candidates were ranked and a top three emerged. Background checks, physicals and psychological exams remain, and the chief hopes to have the three new firefighter hires onboard by June 1.

“I want to commend the chief and the group for a very smooth process of hiring folks,” said Board Chair Tom Osborne, who commented that in his experience, the process can sometimes be a fiasco.

His sentiments were echoed by other board members.

“There was a lot of integrity involved in this hiring process,” said Lyndon Township representative Tom Demske.

In other business, the chief said the fire authority has applied for a AAA grant to fund the purchase of a $15,000 combination extraction tool, which has the ability to work as a spreading and cutting tool that is battery operated.

The CAFA board also held a brief discussion regarding its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Among the topics discussed were specifying the terms of the board members, including the at-large member, and the start date of the at-large member’s term of office.

Also briefly discussed was which document was the overriding one when a policy question cropped up. Also in the case of policy decisions, there was a question about how changes in daily firehouse operational policies would be handled. Currently, all policy changes must go through the board before being implemented.

Arbini reported that one of the paid-on-call firefighters, who works for the Scio Township Fire Department, resigned.

The CAFA board will meet next on May 21 at 9 a.m. in the Chelsea City Council chambers.

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