Kent Fire Promotes New Captain, Lieutenant
Firefighters recognized for work organizing training sessions at former Kent State apartments
The badges are pinned, the paper work is signed and today it's official — the Kent Fire Department has a new captain and lieutenant in the ranks.
Members of the department congratulated Capt. Dave Moore and Lt. Jamie Samels Monday night on their promotions. Both men were promoted to fill out the vacancy created when Kent Fire Chief Dave Manthey left the captain's post to take over the reins of the department earlier this year.
Moore previously served as a lieutenant and also is commander of the Portage County Water Rescue Team, which includes members from 11 different police and fire departments and Robinson Memorial Hospital.
Samels, a University of Akron grad, has been a member of the Kent department for 15 years.
Manthey joked that both men fretted over the testing for the promotions and put in a lot of study time.
"Every third day you’d find (Samels) sequestered away in a little room," Manthey said. "Dave was my lieutenant for a number of years when we were both on black shift. As a captain, Dave was a great lieutenant. He’s another one that put in some serious hours, some serious anxiety over this whole test.
"We’re all very proud to see the outcome," Manthey said.
Kent Safety Director William Lillich administered the oath of office to both officers, who each received their new badges from their wives.
Manthey also awarded Moore and Kent firefighter Gary Lane with the department's distinguished service medal accommodation for their work organizing live-burn scenario training sessions at the former Allerton Apartments on the Kent State University campus.
The chief said the training sessions have encapsulated 150 individual firefighters from 23 area departments spread out over eight Ohio counties during the past two months.
"It was a huge undertaking," he said. "The training portion of it wasn’t even the biggest. It was the preparation, clean-up and just the organization of it."
Moore and Lane thanked a handful of firefighters who also helped organize the training sessions.
"It’s a really good brotherhood; just helping each other out," Moore said. "We had one common thread — it was all on our town time. And that was something we took pride in. It is beyond more than a job."