Fire Department Staff
Patrick T. Connor, Fire Chief
Chief Patrick Connor is a 28-year veteran of the Newark Ohio Fire Department. Throughout his career, he has been assigned to nearly every position the department offered.
Notably, he served on the Hazardous Materials Response and Dive and Rescue Teams. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2004, Captain in 2007, Assistant Chief in 2012, and Fire Chief in 2015. He is a certified paramedic and spent 4 years as a flight paramedic, locally as well.
Chief Connor has an Associate of Fire/EMS Technology from Hocking College and Bachelor of Public Safety Management and Leadership from Franklin University. He is also a graduate of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association’s, Ohio Fire Executive Program OFE, Class 15.
Chief Connor is a Fire Instructor, Fire Inspector (CFSI), Credentialed Ohio Fire Chief, OFC, Arson Investigator, Haz-Mat Technician, Swift Water and Rope Technician, and open water diver. He is most proud of his time in the United States ARMY Reserves from 1991-1999.
He is a past President of the Licking County Fire Chiefs’ Association and serves on three local public safety educational advisory committees. He is a member of the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. In 2009, he received the Mayor’s Commendation Life Saving Award and is a recipient of the American Legion Post #804, Firefighter of the Year 2008-2009.
When not working, he enjoys the outdoors, playing golf, and softball. He has been married to his wife Kelly for 25 years. They have 3 wonderful children, Bryson, Chase, Regan, and two grandchildren, Avery and Declan.
Chief Connor plans on continuing his career for several more years.
Assistant Fire Chief
Greg Ecleberry, Assistant Fire Chief
Assistant Fire Chief Gregory Ecleberry has 31 years of fire service experience. Assistant Chief Ecleberry served as a firefighter/paramedic for Newark Township, Newark , Ohio and Franklin Township, Columbus, Ohio, prior to being hired by Plain Township in 1995. Assistant Chief Ecleberry was promoted to Lieutenant in 2001, Captain in 2005, Battalion Chief in 2013, and has served as the Plain Township Fire Training Officer since 2001.
Assistant Chief Ecleberry is a Fire Service Instructor of 17 years and teaches officer development and firefighter training at CTEC, He has served on the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Training and Education Committee. Chief Ecleberry has an Associate of Fire Science and EMS, a Bachelor of Public Safety Management, and is a graduate of the Ohio Fire Executive, Class 7.
Assistant Chief Ecleberry resides in New Albany with his wife, Amy and two sons, Andrew and Brandon.
Kevin Sponaugle, Battalion Chief
Battalion Chief Kevin Sponaugle was the valedictorian of the New Albany High School graduating class of 1989. Battalion Chief Sponaugle holds an Assoicate of Technical Studies in EMS & Fire Science from Columbus State Community College.
Batallion Chief Sponagule joined the department as a volunteer firefighter in the summer of 1990, while attending The Ohio State University. He was hired fulltime in January 1992, and received his Ohio paramedic certification that same year from Columbus State Community College.
Battalion Chief Sponaugle was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in December 1995, and promoted to the rank of Captain in August 2005. He was honored with the Firefighter of the Year award in 1999.
Battalion Chief Sponaugle is certified as a Fire Safety Inspector, Fire Investigator, and Fire Instructor, and EMS Continuing Education Instructor. Battalion Chief Sponaugle is also an OPOTA certified law enforcement officer, and has been proudly serving as an Auxilliary Deputy Sheriff with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office since June 1997.
In his spare time, Battalion Chief Sponaugle volunteers with the Gahanna Special Olympics group, where he helps coach the Bowling and Track & Field teams.
Battalion Chief Sponaugle resides in Reynoldsburg with his wife and 3 of his 4 children.
Travis Dudley, Battalion Chief
Battalion Chief Travis Dudley has 31 years of fire service experience, with 28 years dedicated to the Plain Township Fire Department. In 1991, his career started in Genoa Township as a volunteer and continued until being hired by Plain Township in 1995. Over the years, he has progressed through the ranks and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2005 and Captain in 2013.
Battalion Chief Dudley graduated from Westerville North High School and Northwest Career Center in 1991, where he obtained his Firefighter II, certification. He continued his education at Columbus State Community College where he obtained his Basic EMT and paramedic certifications. He has an Associate of Applied Science, and an Associate of Fire Science, from Columbus State Community College. Battalion Chief Dudley holds a Bachelor of Public Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene College.
Battalion Chief Dudley currently resides in Westerville with his wife Heidi and has three daughters: Taylor, Brooke, and Jamie.
Chris Pabst, Battalion Chief
Battalion Chief Chris Pabst has 25 years of fire service experience. He began his career at Plain Township in July of 1997 as a part-time firefighter. In 2000, he was hired fulltime at Clinton Twp. Fire Department where he served until February 2001, when he was hired full time in at Plain Township. Battalion Chief Pabst was promoted to Lieutenant in 2013, Captain in 2019, and Battalion Chief in 2023.
Battalion Chief Pabst is a 1996 graduate of Northland High School and the Northwest Career Center where he obtained his Firefighter II certification. He graduated from the Franklin County Firefighters’ Paramedic program at Grant Medical Center in 1999. Battalion Chief Pabst graduated with honors from Columbus State Community College in December of 2019 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science. He is currently enrolled in the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association, OFE Class 23.
In addition to his firefighter and paramedic certifications, he is also a Fire Instructor, Live Fire Instructor, EMS Continuing Education Instructor, Fire Inspector, Fire Officer III, and Rescue Technician.
He is currently an adjunct instructor for Columbus State Community College where he teaches in the Firefighter I & II courses.
Battalion Chief Pabst serves on the advisory board for Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University. Which provides a free summer camp for children who have been affected by a parent’s cancer diagnosis.
Battalion Chief Pabst resides in Gahanna Ohio with his wife and two children.
Brian Reasoner, Captain
Captain Brian Reasoner graduated from Grandview High School in 1998. He went on to earn his paramedic certification and Firefighter II, certification from Columbus State Community College, as well as, completing his certification as a Rescue Technician.
Captain Reasoner began his career as a part time firefighter with Plain Township Fire Department in 2002. He also worked part time with Washington Township Fire until he became a full time Firefighter/Paramedic with Plain Township. Captain Reasoner is also a Paramedic Preceptor Instructor with Columbus State as well as a CPR instructor.
Joe Herren, Captain
Captain Joe Herren is a 2003, graduate of Centerburg High School. He began his journey in the fire service in 2005, when he completed the Firefighter I, II, and EMT- Basic programs at the Delaware Area Career Center. In 2007, Captain Herren was hired by the Central Ohio Joint Fire District where he proudly served in a part time role.
In 2008, Captain Herren completed the EMT-Paramedic program at Central Ohio Technical College in Newark, Ohio, and was also hired part time by the Plain, Mifflin, and Jefferson Township Fire Departments. In 2009, Captain Herren was hired full time by the Mifflin Township Fire Department, and later that year transitioned to full time with the Plain Township Fire Department.
Captain Herren has completed the Fire Officer I program through the Ohio Fire Academy, as well as, the Fire Instructor I and II, and Certified Rescue Tech programs through Bowling Green State University. In the near future, Captain Herren plans to pursue a degree in Fire Administration.
Captain Herren resides in Centerburg with his wife Lorin, and three daughters: Abigail, Graycen, and Samantha.
Todd Moore, Captain
Captain Todd Moore was born and raised in Johnstown, Ohio, and is a 1990 graduate from Johnstown-Monroe High School. He started his firefighting career in 1992 with the Johnstown Volunteer Fire Department. The same year he obtained his Firefighter II certification and then his paramedic certification in 1995. In 1997, Captain Moore began working full-time at the Jerome Township Fire Department, while also, working as a part time firefighter with Plain Township. In 2001, Captain Moore transitioned to a full-time career firefighter with the Plain Township Fire Department.
Captain Moore is a Certified Rescue Technician, Fire Instructor, Fire Inspector and a member of the Central Ohio Strike Team, Region 4. In addition, he holds Fire Officer I and II certifications.
In his spare time, Captain Moore enjoys watching sports, coaching baseball, and vacationing with family in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Captain Moore resides in Johnstown with his wife Liz and their two children, Makayla and Dylan.
Beau Zierk, Lieutenant
Lieutenant Beau Zierk graduated from Bishop Hartley High School in 1997. He graduated from THE Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Criminology and Sociology in 2002. In 2005, he completed his Fire I and II training at the Ohio Fire Academy and was hired on at Mifflin Township in 2007.
Lieutenant Zierk earned his paramedic certificate and Associate of Fire Science, through Columbus State Community College, in 2009. He began his career with Plain Township in 2010, where he was assigned to Two unit and has been awarded the Firefighter of the Year Award, 2013, and Chief’s Award, 2018.
Lieutenant Zierk attended BGSU for his Certified Rescue Technician, Fire Officer I, Fire Instructor I and II and is enrolled for Live Fire Instructor. Lieutenant Zierk is a Hazardous Material Technician from the OFA.
Lieutenant Zierk is currently an active member of the Central Ohio Strike Team (COST) Region 4. He also precepts paramedic students at Columbus State Community College and at local hospitals.
Lieutenant Zierk married his beautiful wife, Dr. Cassondra Zierk, in 2011 and they live together in Gahanna with their 3 children: Xander, Ethan and Valerie.
In his free time, he enjoys helping coach his boys’ soccer teams and spending time with his family while being an active member in his church, in New Albany.
Colby Reynolds, Lieutenant
Lieutenant Colby Reynolds is a 2005 graduate of Canal Winchester High School. After high school he obtained his Firefighter II from the Ohio Fire Academy, EMT-Basic from Columbus State Community College, and his paramedic certificate from Ohio University-Lancaster.
Lieutenant Reynolds began his career at Plain Township Fire Department in May of 2008. Prior to his service at Plain Township, he served the communities of Beavercreek and Jefferson Township. Over his career at Plain Township Fire Department, Lieutenant Reynolds obtained his Rescue Technician certification, Fire Officer 1, and attended numerous other training courses. He is an active member of Central Ohio Strike Team-Region 4 and the Central Ohio FOOLS.
Lieutenant Reynolds is a third-generation firefighter. He, along with his brother who serves the community of Mifflin Township have followed in the footsteps of their grandfather and father. Their father retired as a Battalion Chief with 30 plus years of service to the residents of Jefferson Township.
He is married to his beautiful wife Kim and together they have four children Maci, Lailah, Landon, and Ella. In his free time, he enjoys coaching his kids’ sports teams and spending time with his family on their boat.
Joe Pershing, Lieutenant
Lieutenant Joe Pershing graduated from Gahanna Lincoln High School in 2004. After high school he attended Ohio University and received a Bachelor of Business Administration, in 2008.
Lieutenant Pershing started his fire career volunteering at Southern Campbell Fire Department. As a volunteer he completed recruit school, and earned his EMT, Fire I, and II certifications.
Lieutenant Pershing was hired full-time by the Southern Campbell Fire Department and began paramedic school at the University of Cincinnati, where he received his Associate of Technical Studies.
In June of 2014, Lieutenant Pershing took a full-time firefighter position with The City of Delaware, where he worked until September of 2015.
Lieutenant Pershing joined the Plain Township Fire Department full-time in 2015.
While working on 3 Unit at PTFD, Lieutenant Pershing achieved Fire Officer I, Rescue Technician and Fire Instructor I, certifications through the Ohio Fire Academy and Bowling Green State University. He is also a member of the Central Ohio Strike Team (COST) Region 4.
Lieutenant Pershing married his beautiful wife Sarah in 2008. They have three wonderful children, Lacie, Christopher, and Jaxson. Outside of work, Lieutenant Pershing enjoys spending time with his family, camping, and boating.
Mark Powell, Lieutenant, EMS Coordinator
Lieutenant Mark Powell is a 2001 graduate of Newark Catholic High School. He started his career at Plain Township Fire Department in 2007. During his tenure at the department, Mark has served as a member of the Central Ohio Strike Team, earned his Rescue Technician Certification, and completed the Ohio Fire Academy’s, Fire Officer I, program.
He serves as a mentor for incoming firefighters and was named Firefighter of the Year in 2016. Prior to his service at Plain Township, he was employed as a firefighter at Central Ohio Joint Fire District, Newark Township and Jefferson Township Fire Departments.
Lieutenant Powell resides in Granville, with his wife Heather, and son Reed.
Brad Essick, EMS Coordinator
Brad Essick joined the Plain Township Fire Department as a full-time Firefighter Paramedic in 2018.
Brad graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in May 1992, with a Bachelor of Fire and Safety Engineering. He also holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science from Columbus State Community College.
Brad is an EMS Continuing Education Instructor, Fire Inspector, Fire Officer II, and the Coordinator for New Albany Safety Town.
Brad was promoted to EMS Coordinator in 2023.
He resides in Granville with his wife Patty. They have an adult son Clark, who lives in Gahanna with his fiancée Miranda. In his free time, he enjoys going to the beach and fishing.
Terry Guthrie, Fire Marshal
Fire Marshal Terry Guthrie began his career in the fire service as a volunteer in rural Holmes County in September of 1990. His fire and EMS training has progressed from the volunteer firefighter to a career firefighter and paramedic.
He has continued his education to include, State Certified Fire Safety Inspector, Fire Safety Educator, Advanced Level Fire Investigator, Fire/EMS instructor, and he holds a Bachelor of Public Safety Management, from Franklin University.
He was hired as a part-time employee at the Plain Township Fire Department in 2001 and was sworn in as a full-time firefighter/paramedic in December of 2003. On July 16th, 2007 he started a new position as the Fire Marshal of Plain Township in New Albany, Ohio and has responsibility in fire prevention education, fire code enforcement and fire cause/origin investigation.
Dan Gilmore, Fire Inspector
Inspector Dan Gilmore is a 22-year veteran of the Plain Township Fire Department.
Fire Inspector Gilmore started his path in fire/EMS by joining his local volunteer fire department in Kingston, Ohio, in 1992, where he worked towards gaining his professional firefighter and Paramedic certifications. Prior to employment with Plain Township, Dan worked for the Deerfield Township Fire Department near Mason, Ohio.
Fire Inspector Gilmore was hired part time by the Plain Township Fire Department in 1998 and became a fulltime firefighter/paramedic in 2000.
Fire Inspector Gilmore achieved his State Certified Fire Inspector certification in 2010 and became one of the first Fire Inspectors for Green Township in Ross County, Ohio.
Inspector Gilmore served on 3 Unit as the engine operator and then ladder operator until his promotion. He was promoted to the position of Fire Inspector on July 7th, 2021, after the retirement of Fire Inspector Hoffer.
Fire Inspector Gilmore has been married to his wife Kami for 32 years and resides in Kingston in Ross County. They have 4 children, David, Bethany, Nick, and Justin.
When not serving the residents of Plain Township and New Albany, Dan enjoys camping, 4 wheeling his Jeep, playing the drums, building model railroads and being “Papaw” to his three granddaughters Haydan, Harper, and Emmy.
John Hoovler, Fire Chief, Retired
Fire Chief John Hoovler started his fire career as a volunteer firefighter with Johnstown Fire Department in 1974. He became a paramedic in 1978 and continued to volunteer until he was hired as Johnstown’s first fulltime firefighter in 1987. Chief Hoovler progressed through each position in the fire service including, firefighter/paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Chief and Fire Chief. In 1993, he took a part-time position at Worthington Fire Department as a firefighter/paramedic. He was hired in 1994, by Madison Township as a fulltime firefighter/paramedic and continued to work part-time at Worthington.
Oct 1994, he was sworn in as Fire Chief of the Plain Township Fire Department. He is married to his wife Kathleen and they have four daughters with eight grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. In his spare time he enjoys farming and raising beef cattle and occasionally going camping.
Greg Myers, Captain, Retired
Captain Myers was a Plain Township resident. He graduated from Whitehall Yearling High School. Captain Myers began his fire service as a volunteer with Plain Township in 1986. He received his paramedic certification from the Franklin County Firefighter/Grant Medical Center. Captain Myers joined the department as a full-time firefighter in 1995. He has worked with West Licking and Basil Fire Department as a part-time firefighter, a part-time firefighter with Jefferson Fire Department, and as a Fire Safety Inspector.
In Memory of Those Who Served
James “Jim” Carney – Captain
November 15, 1972 – June 24, 2022
Captain Carney passed away on June 24, 2022
Captain Carney was born in Akron, Ohio. He graduated from Fairfield Career Center with a certificate in Automotive Mechanics. Jim began his fire service career in 1992 with the Violet Township Fire Department. Captain Carney completed the Franklin County Firefighters/Grant Medical Center Paramedic Education Program in 1994. He started with the Plain Township Fire Department in 1995.
Captain Carney was a Hazardous Materials Technician, Fire and Bomb Investigator, and Local Union President for the International Association of Firefighters’, Local 3850. Captain Carney also worked as the Legislative Director for the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters.
Captain Carney graduated from Harvard Law School’s Trade Union Program in February of 2005.
Captain Carney will be greatly missed.
David “Beau” Schoener – Firefighter Paramedic
July 8, 1977 – March 12, 2017
On Sunday, March 12, 2017, our brother, David “Beau” Schoener passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack at his home. Beau was only 39 years old.
Beau was an outstanding firefighter and paramedic. Throughout his career, Beau was recognized multiple times for his public service. He also selflessly served in the Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts. Beau was dedicated to his family, friends, beloved Chelsea, and considered his 9-year-old son, Jake, his greatest gift and best accomplishment.
Beau’s Legacy, The New Albany Firefighters Foundation
In 2017, the firefighters at Plain Township Fire Department held their inaugural golf outing fundraiser to raise money for Beau’s son, Jake. This launched a larger goal to ensure not only a bright future for Beau’s son but to build a legacy for Beau that could touch the lives of many fire families in the future. Thanks to a very gracious community, the Foundation raised over $45,000 in the first year. This tremendous volume of support helped create the Plain Township New Albany Firefighters’ Foundation. This non-profit organization allows us to continue helping Jake for many years to come, and will also serve as a vehicle to support other fire families in need. Additionally, we are establishing a scholarship for returning veterans interested in pursuing a career as a firefighter. Just as Beau gave selflessly to so many, the Plain Township New Albany Firefighters Foundation aims to follow his lead.