Meet Stow's Newest Firefighter: Jon Morris
Morris was hired with SAFER grant money and his first day on the job was Monday.
There's a new man in Stow willing to risk his life for yours.
Jon Morris, 33, of Cleveland was hired with SAFER grant money. His first day with the Stow Fire Department was Monday.
He previously worked at the Warrensville Fire Department for seven months before accepting the job in Stow. Morris also served three active years with the Army as a combat medic.
"Departments were encouraged to hire veterans with the SAFER grant," said Fire Chief LuAnn Metz. "Not only was [Morris] a veteran, but he was one of the top people in the interview process."
But even before his medical/military and firefighter experience, Morris was an industrial engineer.
"Becoming a firefighter was a dream of mine since I was a child. I wanted more out of life ... I wanted to feel like I was making a difference and I wanted satisfaction out of my career instead of trying to improve the bottom line," he said.
The Ohio State University graduate said he's excited to work with his new Stow family.
"My sister used to live in Stow and she told me very good things about the community," Morris said. "I'm really excited to meet everyone and I'm looking forward to a long career here."
Metz said a swearing in ceremony will be scheduled soon for Morris.
He joins four other new firefighters that received jobs with FEMA's SAFER grant money. Metz said all but one of the new hires has military experience.
The fire department learned in January last year that it would receive $743,741 to replace five full-time firefighters who left the department through retirements.
But, recently Scott Filipczak retired and Cal Davis was promoted to leiutenant, which made room for a new firefighter.
Morris and the other four hired through SAFER grant funds, have a two year contract — when the grant money runs out. At that time, the city will evaluate whether it can keep the firefighters.
Morris will make $51,376 annually.