Sworn in as chief in June of 2012, Taylor has been with the Mifflin Township Division of Fire since 1992, replacing former Chief L. James DeConnick. Literally, working his way up the ladder, Taylor served as a firefighter/paramedic, lieutenant and battalion chief. Friday, his last day with the department, was capped off by a reception at the Mifflin Township Hall. Mifflin Township trustees appointed Deputy Fire Chief Fred Kauser as acting chief until a decision is made on appointing a permanent chief.
“My career has been extremely rewarding, and has afforded me many opportunities that I could never have foreseen when I began my career as a firefighter in 1978. The residents of Mifflin Township and the city of Gahanna represent such a wonderful cross section of demographic population groups, that it makes our community a special place to work, live and play,” said Chief Taylor. “Among the many poignant memories are the countless citizens who, during their medical crises, entrapments, accidents and structural fires, allowed us to be there for them, giving us the opportunity to do what we do best… stop the problem and work to make things better.”
Under Chief Taylor’s leadership, the fire department reallocated staff and equipment among the four fire stations based on the shifting needs and demographics of the community. He also oversaw the acquisition of special equipment to outfit an emergency vehicle with a bariatric cot, giving the township the capability of transporting obese patients, in addition to the acquisition of two new EMS vehicles, and one new fire engine. Additionally, he managed one of the region’s largest fire safety exercises when a developer donated 10 homes along Hamilton Road to be demolished. The program took months of planning and preparation. He was also elected to the Central Ohio Trauma System Board of Trustees.
“We have been very fortunate to have Chief Taylor lead the fire department these last years,” said Township Trustee Joseph Spanovich. “He has had a very broad-minded approach to leadership, and we will miss his authentic concern for the firefighters in Mifflin Township.”
A native of Clintonville, Taylor was one of only a few students who graduated high school in 1978, having simultaneously completed firefighter certification training at the Northwest Career Center in Columbus, Ohio. After graduation, Taylor joined the U.S. Air Force as a firefighter, where he served for seven years, finishing his tour as the assistant fire chief of operations in King Salmon, Alaska. While serving in the military, Taylor majored in fire science through the Community College of the Air Force. Upon discharge, he returned to The Ohio State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and finished coursework through Regents College to become a registered nurse in 1996.
"Chief Taylor will be missed tremendously,” said Lieutenant Harold Broskie, a long-time colleague of Taylor. “He has always been thought of as a "firefighter's chief" because he spent many years working alongside of us, and knows what we need to do our job."
Throughout his career, Taylor also worked as a fire claims adjuster for State Farm, a manufacturer’s representative for Clow Water Systems Co., and staff nurse with Berger Health Systems and with NetCare. Taylor joined Mifflin Township Division of Fire in 1992 and later that year attended Grant Hospital’s training to become a paramedic.
“We wish to thank Chief Taylor for his years of service to the residents of Mifflin Township,” said Township Trustee Lynn Stewart. “He has always loved serving our community, and I know that same care and concern will continue to come through in his work with Nationwide Children’s Hospital."
But the fire chief, known for his talent playing a variety of instruments, including the mandolin, fiddle, banjo and bagpipes, won’t just be “fidding around the house” after retirement. He has worked part-time for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s emergency department and urgent care centers since 1992 on his days off. Taylor intends to continue his work as a registered nurse and EMT/Paramedic for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“A firefighter, a lieutenant, a captain, a battalion chief and a fire chief: each step of the way during Chief Taylor’s career at Mifflin Township, he has added to, enhanced or grown the department to be one of the premier fire departments in Ohio,” said Township Trustee Richard Angelou. “Ask anyone he served with or administered to, you will find nothing but high regard for this man’s persona and career. In his tenure as fire chief, he has maintained Mifflin Township’s high standards as a department. He will be missed.”
Mifflin Township has a population of 35,710 making it the second-most populated township in the Columbus area and 17th-largest of Ohio’s 1,308 townships. It includes the city of Gahanna and unincorporated township area in northeast Franklin County. Mifflin Township has a fire department that serves the city of Gahanna and unincorporated township areas. The division has four fire stations, and employs 74 full time firefighter/paramedics, six full or part-time fire prevention officers and 23 full or part-time dispatchers. Responding to more than 6,870 calls for emergency medical service and 1,5584 fire protection calls, the township responded to a total of 8,428 calls for assistance in 2014. With a response time of less than four minutes, the Mifflin Township Division of Fire is one of the busiest fire departments in Franklin County (Central Ohio).