The Orange Township Fire Department has its fifth chief in its 63-year history.
Former Assistant Chief Matt Noble has been selected to succeed retired Chief Tom Stewart.
“I’m excited to take on the challenges of being the fire chief here in Orange Township,” Noble told The Gazette. “I’m excited for the possibilities of both the department and the township.”
Noble said his top goal for the department is to ensure the safety of his personnel and residents of Orange Township. He also wants his department to continue to keep up with training and technological changes. Fiscal responsibility is also on the priority list, he said.
The department will be forced to go back to the taxpayers next year, as a three-year levy passed in 2013 is set to expire in 2016.
“We need to put another fire levy on next year so that we can continue uninterrupted the funding necessary to run the department,” Noble said.
Noble said the department has some major capital needs. It is already two medic vehicles and a fire engine behind its replacement schedule, he said.
“We need to really look to the future and how we fund that,” he said.
After failing to pass a levy in November 2012, Noble led an effort to pass another ballot measure in a February 2013 special election.
Orange Township Trustee Rob Quigley said the effort demonstrated Noble’s leadership abilities.
“He has shown his ability to take charge and lead,” he said. “When the fire levy failed he did a lot of work, research and presented to the public factual information.”
Quigley also pointed to savings of $500,000 the department realized over a 12-month period as further proof of Noble’s abilities.
Noble served as assistant chief in the department for more than nine years. Prior to coming to Orange Township, he served as chief of the London Fire Department for two years.