June 24, 2015 Edition

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Ditto hired as
Hoxie fire chief

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Chris Ditto has been hired as the new Hoxie Fire Chief. He will work full-time for the city in this position. Ditto will also continue his job as a Lawrence County deputy.

Rob Needham, former chief, had served on a volunteer basis since 2012 and served prior to that for seven years. Shortly after Ditto was hired, Needham turned in his letter of resignation, as did several others. Ditto said five letters in total have been turned in.

Ditto said no reason for resignation was given in the letters but he figures it was partly due to the change in leadership. Since Ditto was hired, the department has also gained five new volunteer firefighters, which leaves 14 on the roster and 19 still active.

With years of volunteer firefighting experience, as well as serving as assistant fire chief at Hoxie last year, Ditto said he will focus heavily on training. He said he hopes to have some type of training every week and wants all firefighters to have up-to-date training to help serve the community.

Ditto's biggest goal is to lower the ISO rating, which is currently at level five. In addition to being the fire chief, he is also a homeowner in Hoxie and said he knows how beneficial a lower ISO rating would be to Hoxie residents when it comes to insurance costs.

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