MFD rookie in name only

The newest addition to Marietta’s roster of firefighters, Little Hocking resident Matt Alloway, was sworn in by the Marietta Fire Department earlier this month and is already busy learning the ropes.

“I’ve been learning the city, learning the street names, learning Marietta procedures,” said Alloway, 27.

The department typically follows a 10-shift training regiment for new recruits, which includes learning how to drive the vehicles, access area fire hydrants, check equipment and more, said MFD Lt. Larry Bargeloh. But Alloway, who started his fifth shift Thursday, is already ahead of the curve in that aspect, he added.

Alloway served two years with the Parkersburg Fire Department and currently serves as a paramedic for St. Joseph’s Hospital and as a volunteer firefighter for the Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department.

“By having his fire training, and being a paramedic, and knowing how to drive the vehicles, he’s already ahead of the typical new recruit,” said Bargeloh.

Though Alloway has ample experience, he will be learning some new skills at the Marietta department.

“I know I’ve got HazMat training coming up,” he said.

That and confined spaces training will likely happen within the next six months, said Bargeloh.

Alloway also served five years in the United States Navy and credits his military service with drawing him to firefighting and paramedic work.

“Coming from the military, it felt like a good fit, a good transition back into the civilian world,” he said.

Alloway was hired to replace longtime Marietta firefighter and EMT Tom Reebel, said Bargeloh.

Reebel retired in early June after nearly 32 years with the department, he said.

The department consists of three shifts of 10 firefighters and two full-time swing-shift firefighters, as well as the fire chief, fire inspector and clerk.

Reebel’s retirement left a vacancy on one of the shifts and Alloway was selected from a list of applicants who passed the department’s most recent civil service examination.

In fact, Alloway was the highest scoring applicant on MFD’s most recent exam, which was given in 2011 and consisted of both a written and physical portion, added Bargeloh.

Alloway started June 29 and is considered a probationary employee for the first year. He’s currently on the probationary pay scale, making $14.60 an hour.

As for the future, Alloway plans to continue his volunteer work while delving into a career at MFD, he said.

“I want to be here a long time. That’s the plan,” he said.