Hanmer appointed fire chief

Courtesy photo

Robert Hanmer has been chosen as Oberlin’s new fire chief.

Robert Hanmer of Oberlin has been chosen from a pool of 50 applicants from all over the United States to serve as the city’s new fire chief, city manager Eric Norenberg announced Friday.

Hanmer has worked with the Oberlin fire department for 20 years, the past six years as battalion chief.

He’s also worked as Carlisle Township’s fire lieutenant since 2001, helping the department receive $1 million in grants.

“It’s always been a lifelong dream of mine,” Hanmer said of being named chief. “My father was the assistant fire chief and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.”

“Bob brings both extensive experience and the respect of his colleagues within the Oberlin fire department and those in departments across Lorain County,” Norenberg said.

Hanmer believes his experience will make the leadership transition smooth for not only himself but also the staff.

“We are going to take baby steps,” he said when asked what changes he is interesting making to operations.

The first of those steps he plans will be a hard look at the department’s strategic five-year plan, now in its final year.

Hanmer’s hiring came at a perfect time because he has volunteered to be laid off from the Carlisle Township fire department to help keep other firefighters on duty.

In Oberlin, he replaces former chief Dennis Kirin, who retired June 12.

A starting date has not yet been determined for the new chief but he’s expected to be at the July 6 city council meeting.

Hanmer has also taken over program director duties for the Lorain County Fire Chiefs Training Academy this year and has been the training officer for Carlisle Township for 14 years.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.