Columbus Fire Department has six new firefighters, sworn in Tuesday by Mayor Jim Lienhoop.
The department had vacancies created by Columbus firefighters leaving for other fire agencies around the state.
The six include:
- 27-year-old Cody Ross and 27-year-old Thomas Smith, both from Columbus .
- 32-year-old Alexis Baxter and 29-year-old Matthew Mellencamp, both from Seymour.
- 26-year-old Peyton Gerkin from Jennings County.
- 28-year-old Maura “Mo” Shea from Bethesda, Maryland.
The new firefighters will now go through a department orientation and training program. Firefighters who are not already certified will get trained for basic emergency medical technician, Firefighter I & II and Hazardous Materials Operations and Awareness certifications. They will then receive a station and shift assignment.
More about the firefighters:
- Baxter is a 2009 graduate of Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour. Baxter is a certified emergency medical technician and has been a volunteer firefighter with the Southwest Fire Department in Bartholomew County since 2021.
- Gerkin is a 2015 graduate of Jennings County High School and is a graduate of IUPUI with a bachelor’s of science in public safety management. Gerkin served in the Army National Guard Airborne Infantry for seven years and previously served as a Greensburg police officer from 2020-2023.
- Mellencamp is a 2012 graduate of Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour and received a bachelors of science degree in criminal justice with minors in psychology and business administration from the University of Indianapolis. Mellencamp has been a firefighter since 2011 serving in volunteer and career firefighter capacities with Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cortland, Cicero Fire Department and the Zionsville Fire Department.
- Ross is a 2014 graduate of Columbus North High School and has been in the fire service since 2020. He is a volunteer firefighter with the Southwest Fire Department in Bartholomew County and the Columbus Township Fire and Rescue Department.
- Shea is a 2012 graduate of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland and holds a bachelors of science degree in athletic training from Xavier University and a doctorate in Athletic Training from Indiana State University.
- Smith is a 2014 graduate of Columbus East High School and has been a member of the German Township Volunteer Fire Department in Bartholomew County since last year.
Photo: New firefighters sworn in Tuesday include Matthew Mellencamp. Peyton Gerkin, Thomas Smith, Cody Ross, Alexis Baxter and Maura Shea. Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.