UPDATE 9/24/2013 4:50 P.M.
The Belpre Volunteer Fire Department faced a tough battle with the budget, with paramedic services disappearing.
But now the city believes the department is moving in the right direction.
The swearing in of a new chief Monday night is helping balance the budget.
Eric Sinnett is named new volunteer fire chief.
Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz swore him in Monday night at the council meeting, surrounded by his fellow fire fighters.
Sinnett says he is happy to be helping the department, thanking those who came before him, and is looking forward to leading others.
This fire chief position in Belpre has moved from a paid position to a volunteer because of budget issues.
The department ran into problems after they were forced to close their instant tickets and bingo fundraising last year.
Mayor Lorentz says after much discussion they decided this was the best way to go for the city, so the chief's salary can be used elsewhere and Sinnett supports this decision.
Mayor Lorentz says he is extremely proud of the volunteer firefighters and their training.
Chief Sinnett says there will be other changes coming in the department.
They are going to be filling more open positions and hopefully growing the number of volunteers.
The paramedics will now be paid through a medical claims assistance contract between the city and the department.
A new Belpre Fire Chief is announced with the support of the community and the department.
Eric Sinnett is named the new volunteer fire chief.
Sinnett replaces retired Chief Bob Frank.
Sinnett also serves as the third ward councilman.
Mayor Mike Lorentz says this is "the most logical choice," noting Sinnett's over 30 years of experience.
The new chief was sworn in Monday with the support of his fellow firefighters. Also the fire chief has now been moved from a paid position to a volunteer position in Belpre.
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