Saline Area Fire Board, Jason Sperle Agree on Fire Chief's Contract

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With the contracts signed, it's official. Jason Sperle will be the next Chief of the Saline Area Fire Department.

Monday evening, the Saline Area Fire Board voted unanimously (Lodi Township Supervisor Jan Godek was absent) to authorize a two-year deal with Sperle, who will officially join the fire department June 21. 

Sperle will make $82,500 in the first year of the deal. He will be allowed to use the department's 2015 Toyota Tundra as a personal and professional vehicle, and he receives retirement and health benefits.

Sperle signed the contract following the meeting.

"It's exciting. It's been a long time coming, so I'm excited to get to work," Sperle said after signing the contracts.

Sperle will succeed Fire Chief Craig Hoeft, who is retiring at the end of June. Sperle, currently working as Fire Marshal with the Pittsfield Township Fire Department, will "job shadow" Hoeft from June 21 until the end of the month.

Although he doesn't start until June 21, Sperle has made several trips to town to meet with people he'll be working with.

"It's been pretty positive. I've stopped and talked to a lot of different people. I'm looking forward to officially starting," Sperle said.

City of Saline Mayor Brian Marl, Chair of the Fire Board, said it was important for Sperle to have that 10-day period to shadow Hoeft. But, Marl said, Sperle has already been busy visiting with city officials and firefighters.

"He's already become acclimated and familiar with our organization, which is great," Marl said.

Marl said he was happy the hiring process had come to a conclusion.

"It was a long process that started at the end of 2020. It was a bit bumpy at times. But I'm pleased with how things progressed. We had a lot of quality applicants and had some phenomenal finalists and I couldn't be more pleased with the gentleman we hired to be our next fire chief," Marl said. "I think Jason will do a terrific job and I look forward to working with him."

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