The Columbus Fire Department (CFD) welcomed six Columbus Firefighters to the department on Tuesday morning. The firefighters were sworn in by Mayor Jim Lienhoop during Tuesday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting at City Hall. The firefighters were hired for vacancies that were created as a result of lateral transfers of CFD firefighters to other fire agencies within the state.
Firefighter Alexis Baxter, 32, is a 2009 graduate of Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour, Indiana. Firefighter Baxter is a Nationally Certified Emergency Medical Technician and has been a volunteer Firefighter with the Southwest Fire Department (Bartholomew County) since 2021.
Firefighter Peyton Gerkin, 26, is a 2015 graduate of Jennings County High School. Gerkin is a graduate of IUPUI with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Safety Management. Firefighter Gerkin served in the Army National Guard Airborne Infantry for seven years. Firefighter Gerkin previously served as a City of Greensburg Police Officer from 2020-2023.
Firefighter Matthew Mellencamp, 29, is a 2012 graduate of Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour, Indiana. Mellencamp attended the University of Indianapolis where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology and Business Administration. Firefighter Mellencamp has been in the fire service since 2011 and has served in both volunteer and career firefighter capacities at the following agencies: Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department (Cortland, IN), Cicero (IN) Fire Department and the Zionsville (IN) Fire Department. Firefighter Mellencamp’s certifications include Emergency Medical Technician, Firefighter I & II, Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Peer Fitness Trainer, CPR Instructor, Driver/Operator, Hazardous Materials Operations and Vehicles and Machinery Operations.
Firefighter Cody Ross, 27, is a 2014 graduate of Columbus North High School. Firefighter Ross has been in the fire service since 2020 and is currently a volunteer firefighter with the Southwest Fire Department (Bartholomew County) and the Columbus Township Fire Department. Firefighter Ross is currently enrolled in an Emergency Medical Technician course. Additional certifications held firefighter Ross include, Firefighter I & II, Hazardous Materials Operations and Awareness and Rope Rescue Operations.
Firefighter Maura “Mo” Shea, 28, is a 2012 graduate of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. Firefighter Shea holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training from Xavier University and a Doctorate in Athletic Training from Indiana State University. Firefighter Shea has established injury preventions and rehabilitation clinics throughout the country.
Firefighter Thomas Smith, 27, is a 2014 graduate of Columbus East High School. Firefighter Smith has been a member of the German Township Volunteer Fire Department (Bartholomew County) since 2022 and has obtained Firefighter I & II and Hazardous Materials Operations and Awareness Certifications.
All firefighters will undergo a department orientation and training program. Firefighters not previously certified will obtain a Basic Emergency Medical Technician certification, Firefighter I & II certification and Hazardous Materials Operations and Awareness certification. At the completion of all training requirements, each firefighter will receive a station and shift assignment.
(Left to Right) Fire Chief Andy Lay, Thomas Smith, Maura Shea, Cody Ross, Alexis Baxter, Peyton Gerkin, Matthew Mellencamp and Mayor Jim Linehoop