The board members of the Fredericktown Community Fire District met in a special meeting on Monday night, December 9, to appoint an acting Chief. Well before the meeting started, the back room at the firehouse quickly filled to capacity with others filing down the hall to have a spot to listen in.
After a brief public participation session with several people speaking up and asking questions, the board of trustees entered into executive session. Coming out of the session, board Chairperson Dick Kershner stated, “the board has decided to go ahead and have the Assistant Chief to be in charge until we can run ads, do interviews for anybody that might be interested in the job.” The position of acting Chief was earned by Assistant Chief Dwayne Canter, who will assume those duties on January 1, 2020.
Chief Canter joined the fire department in 1992 as a line firefighter and worked his way through the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain before being named to Assistant Chief in February of 2010. He is highly active in all aspects of the fire department; run response, training, response, communications, the cadet program, maintenance, public education, records, and every part of the philanthropy that the Firefighters Association does.
“The appointment of Dwayne as the acting chief of our department is a crucial step towards maintaining continuity within the department operations and the services we provide along with upholding the quality and integrity,” stated current FCFD Chief Scott Mast. “He is well versed in our policies and procedures and instrumental towards assisting with the day to day activities.”
Most recently in January of 2018, Chief Canter was recognized for his extensive dedication and response to calls with the FCFD over the course of his career. He was presented with a special plaque to signify the accomplishment of having responded to 3,072 calls since joining the fire district.
“His dedication to the FCFD and our community is exhibited through continually being among the top responders to emergency calls, commitment to attending training sessions, and participation in community outreach events,” said Chief Mast.
In 2017, Chief Canter was presented with the Chief’s Award at the annual fire district awards ceremony and banquet. He was recognized in 2014 from the Knox County Chapter of the American Red Cross at their annual Heroes Breakfast for his participation in a rescue of a man trapped under a minivan in December of 2013. His response with several others prior to fire apparatus arrival utilized materials on the scene to affect a rescue and gave the victim the best chance at life and survival.
Placed in command of the water supply operations at the 2010 Main Street fire in Fredericktown, his skill and knowledge were put to the test. From running water supply to bringing in adequate resources of personnel and apparatus, he proved his mettle.
Throughout the course of his tenure with the FCFD, Chief Canter has earned the following awards Firefighter of the Year (three times), earned the Lifetime Service Award (20+ years of service), meritorious service, and Outstanding Service Award (two times).
“Firefighters, officers, and others were highly supportive of Chief Canter, and that showed both during the Monday meeting and the time spent conversing on the apparatus floor throughout the evening,” said FCFD Public Information Officer Jason Bostic. “He has been an integral part of the positive cultural change within the FCFD, his leadership, knowledge, tenure, and involvement is a priceless asset to have.”
Chief Canter is certified at the Firefighter II (240-hour) level of education and is a Certified Fire Safety Inspector. He holds a fire protection license from the Ohio Department of Commerce – Division of the State Fire Marshal for servicing/testing/repairing fire alarm and detection systems, sprinkler/standpipes, portable fire extinguishers, and pre-engineered extinguishers.
He resides in Fredericktown with his wife Heather and their daughter Brianna.