Firefighters promoted to officer positions

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published November 22, 2016


With the recent promotion of eight volunteer firefighters to officers, all six fire stations in the city are fully staffed by officers.

The new officers will serve one year in a probationary capacity and will receive periodic evaluations on their performance.

The following promotions were approved:

• Lt. Robert Tyrrell to Station 2 captain.

• Firefighter/staff technician Michael Koehler to  Station 2 lieutenant.

• Capt. Michael Rusing to Station 3 assistant chief.

• Lt. Robert Bittner to Station 3 captain.

• Firefighter Jonathan Roberts to Station 3 lieutenant.

• Firefighter Kenneth Adams to Station 3 lieutenant.

• Firefighter Joseph Lagarde Jr. to Station 6 lieutenant.

• Firefighter/staff technician Eric Emmons to Station 6 lieutenant.

Members from Stations 2, 3 and 6 retired this year, creating vacancies in the officer ranks.

Applicants who met qualifications for promotion were interviewed by an evaluation committee of current station officers and Assistant Fire Chief Richard Riesterer.

The highest-scoring applicants were offered promotions, and they all accepted the new positions.

Troy Fire Chief Dave Roberts explained that members of the Troy Fire Department — Oakland County’s largest fire department and Michigan’s largest combination volunteer/career fire department — do not receive any direct compensation for their service.

“Members become eligible to participate in Troy’s Volunteer Firefighter Incentive Plan after 10 years of service while meeting the requirements as defined in the plan,” Roberts said. “Volunteer station officers, however, receive no additional incentive for taking on additional responsibilities in their roles as station officers. This demonstrates their commitment to the department and their desire to serve the community to the best of their ability.”

“It’s a credit to the leadership of the Fire Department (that) they’ve maintained the (volunteer) culture for so long,” Troy Mayor Dane Slater said.

Slater said the volunteer Fire Department saves the city $10 million to $12 million per year in city costs.

He noted that the leadership creates an atmosphere where multiple members of families serve as volunteers with great pride.

The Troy Fire Department is made up of 11 career staff members and 180 volunteer station members. Each of the department’s six fire stations has an authorized membership of 30 volunteer firefighters, of which there is one station assistant chief, one station captain and four station lieutenants. 

“This is a reflection of the dedication the volunteers have to keep the communities safe, that people in the city are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to make the city safer,” Slater said.

The Troy Fire Department is accepting applications for volunteer firefighters. There are immediate openings at Fire Station 2, located at 5600 Livernois Road, between Long Lake and Square Lake roads. For an application, visit