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New deputy fire chief’s first duty: Canfield Fair

September 1, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
Matt Rarick was sworn in on Monday as the cardinal Joint Fire District’s new deputy chief. This week he had a brief couple of days to settle into his new position prior to handling the inspections at this year’s Canfield Fair.

“His first big duty will be inspections at the fair,” said Fire Chief Don Hutchison. “He won’t be easing into his new position.”

Each year, the deputy chief of the fire district is charged with fire and safety inspections at the fair. It takes days to ensure that all the booths and trailers are in compliance with the fire and safety standards required for the county fair. It should not be a problem for Rarick, who jumped into his new spot on Wednesday morning.

“He was only on the job 20 minutes when he responded to an emergency medical call,” Hutchison said.

Rarick is trained to respond to medical and fire calls, but it is something he didn’t expect to be doing after high school. He graduated from Sebring High School in 1993, then was looking for something to do.

“My friend was enrolling in an EMT class, so I enrolled too,” Rarick said. “I was looking for something to do.”

He said a fire class was being offered at the same time, so he enrolled in that as well.

“I really had no interest in it until I took the class,” he said. “Then I decided it was what I really wanted to do.”

He finished the classes and got his paramedic certificate from Youngstown State University and his fire certificate from Stark State University. Upon achieving the certificates, he came on board the Sebring Fire Department as a volunteer in 1995 to 1999. From Sebring, he worked for two Trumbull County departments (McDonald and Liberty) as well as serving as a paramedic with Rural Metro Ambulance Service before being hired as a part-time firefighter/paramedic for the Cardinal Joint Fire District in 2002. The following year he rose to full time and in 2005 took on the role of training coordinator. While working the position, he continued his education and earned his bachelor's degree if fire science in 2010 from Columbia Southern University.

The CJFD Board of Directors chose Rarick to take the role of deputy chief after Hutchison was selected to fill the position of chief following the passing of the late Chief Robert Tieche. Rarick officially began at 8 a.m. Wednesday and will not have a lot of time to get his office set up.

“I won’t have time to ease into this position,” he said.

His selection for the position came after first being scrrened by members of the Mahoning County Fire Chief’s Association. Several candidates were screened for final interviews by a subcommittee of the CJFD. That committee then offered their recommendation to the board, who made the final decision.

Rarick’s metal will be tested right off the bat as he will have to jump into the work at the Canfield Fairgrounds, then will have to prepare for October, which is Fire Prevention Month.

“That means a lot of school visits and an open house,” Rarick said.

Chief Hutchison said he doesn’t doubt that Rarick can handle the tasks at hand, and he is pleased with the board’s decision.

“He (Rarick) is knowledgeable concerning our system,” Hutchison said. “I think he’ll fit right in.”

Andy Skrobola, president of the CJFD Board, stated, “Rarick’s outstanding qualifications and professionalism secured him the position of deputy chief.”

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
The Cardinal Joint Fire District’s new deputy fire chief Matt Rarick will be springing into action after only a few days on the job as he performs inspections at the Canfield Fair.



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