The City of Westlake welcomed three new full-time firefighters on Feb. 15 at Westlake City Hall. Mayor Dennis M. Clough administered the oath of office to Jeremy DiBell and Matthew Kritzer and Stipe Miocic during a swearing in ceremony in front of friends, family and City employees.
Mayor Clough noted that the City does not often have the chance to hire three firefighters simultaneously, making the event fairly “historic” and necessary given that the department had seven open positions to fill.
“We’ve been very fortunate over the years that we have had very, very good people in the Fire Department,” Mayor Clough said. “And I don’t mind saying that I’m proud of these guys every single day because of the skills they bring, the positive attitude they bring and the passion that they have for the career that they’ve chosen as a firefighter/paramedic in the City of Westlake.”
Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes noted that the screening process for new hires is particularly rigorous to ensure that the City always brings in the best candidates.
Firefighter DiBell previously worked for fire departments in Ashtabula, Conneaut and Geneva, the same community where he attended high school. He also worked as a paramedic for the UH Geneva Medical Center.
Firefighter Kritzer comes to Westlake from the Chagrin Falls Fire Department where he worked for more than four years. Kritzer also served as a member of the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves from December 2013 to December 2021. He is a graduate of Mayfield High School.
Firefighter Miocic previously worked as a part-time firefighter/paramedic in Valley View and Oakwood. Miocic is well-known for his career as a boxer and mixed martial arts athlete who has won two UFC Heavyweight Championships. He attended Eastlake High School and completed his paramedic training at Cuyahoga Community College.
More photos of the three newest members of the Westlake Fire Department can be found on the City of Westlake Ohio Government Facebook page.