PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission meeting was a full house during two oaths of office, a special recognition, and a proclamation on Tuesday evening.
Family members, friends, and supporters watched as Brent Eric Pohlschneider was officially sworn in by City Attorney Stacy Wall as the fire chief for the Piqua Fire Department.
“We’re very happy to have you as the new fire chief,” Mayor Lucy Fess said. Fess stated that she believed Pohlschneider will do “a wonderful job” for the city as fire chief.
Following his oath of office, William D. Weaver was sworn in as police lieutenant for the Piqua Police Department.
Firefighter-paramedics Brad Weer and Josh Sullenberger, the recent Medal of Valor Award recipients from the Piqua Fire Department, were also recognized for their life-saving actions. Pohlschneider stated that the department currently has six active recipients of the award.
Pohlschneider explained that Weer and Sullenberger performed an admirable, successful rescue back in June 2014.
“Members will say that they train for their whole career to go through an event like this,” Pohlschneider said.
About the award the Weer and Sullenberger received, Pohlschneider said it is “not taken lightly.”
“It is the highest award that any firefighter can receive in the state of Ohio,” Pohlschneider said.
Pohlschneider then read from their Medal of Valor Award, which explained the actions that Weer and Sullenberger took to save a woman’s life.
“On the early morning hours of June 24, 2014, firefighters Josh Sullenberger and Bradley Weer were dispatched to a two-story house fire … with the report of a woman trapped on the second floor,” Pohlschneider said, explaining that “access to the window was very tight.”
Weer and Sullenberger attempted to use an extension ladder to reach the woman, but due to the narrow distance between the house and one next door, they were unable to get all the way to the trapped victim. Sullenberger, with Weer assisting, was able to climb to within approximately eight feet of the woman, who jumped to him. Sullenberger caught the woman. Sullenberger and Weer then removed her to safety.
Three other people in the burning home escaped on their own.
Pohlschneider praised the two firefighters for the confidence and dedication to their jobs that they displayed. They received a standing ovation from the crowd gathered at the meeting.
Fess then read a proclamation recognizing the journey of three local people who paddled the length of the great Mississippi River. Forrest Schoessow, 25, of Sidney, Shea Selsor, 25, of Piqua, and Alex Ross, 26, of Sidney/New Orleans began their trip on May 20 in Lake Itasca, Minn., and ended it on July 27 in the Gulf of Mexico, traveling 2,340 miles.
They were unable to attend the meeting, but their families accepted the proclamation on their behalf. A letter from Schoessow was read during the meeting, encouraging residents to pursue river stewardship.
“Your boys are amazing,” Fess said. “We do appreciate them very much …We here in Piqua have been working very hard to develop our riverfront.”
On the order of old business, two resolutions were taken off the table and brought back before the commission. The commission unanimously approved the design services for a new multi-use path, also referred to as the East Ash Street Bikeway project, as well as the preliminary legislation with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the programming of East Ash Street Bikeway project. The project will connect Scott Drive to Looney Road on the north side of U.S. Route 36.
Commissioner Bill Vogt stated that he was satisfied with the information that they had received about the project at a previous work session.
Commissioner John Martin brought up that he had received a call from a resident who believed he was against the bike path.
“As far as I know, I’m not against the bike path,” Martin said. “We just had some issues with how we were reading this (resolution).” Martin stated that Vogt, Commissioner Joe Wilson, and he were all in favor of the bike path, but had wanted more information in regard to this multi-use path before moving forward.
Also approved during the meeting:
• An ordinance that will update the gas franchise agreement with Vectren
• A contract extension with Burch Hydro, Inc. for Wastewater Plant biosolids for three years
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall