Mumaw assumes duties as new Prairie Twp. fire chief

Mumaw assumes duties as new Prairie Twp. fire chief
Dave Mast

New Prairie Township Fire Chief Andy Mumaw isn’t a stranger to the department, having been a longtime volunteer for years. Mumaw assumed his duties as new fire chief at the beginning of 2023.


As a longtime member of the Prairie Township Fire and EMS Department, Andy Mumaw has served his community side by side with his fellow personnel.

As its newly selected fire chief as of Jan. 1, he said working together for the good of the community will remain his focus as he takes on the leading role for the department.

Prairie Township trustee Paul Troyer, who served on the Prairie Township Fire and EMS team for many years before becoming a trustee, served on the search committee and said the committee felt strongly about Mumaw’s qualifications and his ability to lead the department as its new chief.

Former Chief Reuben Miller resigned in March 2022, and the committee wasn’t about to rush through the process.

They went through the Ohio Firefighter’s Association out of Columbus to initiate the search. Troyer said the OFA sends out the packets, posts the job position online and helps with the interview process.

The committee eventually narrowed the search from six people to two, and trustees felt Mumaw was the right person to fulfill the duties.

“We as trustees felt strongly that he was our guy,” Troyer said. “He is devoted, he is here for the right reasons and he is familiar with our department, having been here for many years. We as a department believe that the people of Prairie Township deserve the very best in fire and EMS response, and we believe Andy is the right person to continue to develop our department and take it in the right direction because of his commitment to the community.”

Troyer said Mumaw’s ability to work with people was one attribute that drew the search committee to him. Troyer said Mumaw has a great deal of experience, and his relationship with the people of Holmesville and Prairie Township runs deep.

Having served with the department for years, Mumaw has leadership skills in place, and he said taking the step up to serve as volunteer fire chief is both exciting and challenging for him as he leads the department.

Mumaw, who lives in Holmesville, is married to his wife Mariah, and they have three children. He is a full-time employee with Waynedale High School as a custodian.

With many years of volunteer service in place, Mumaw did take some time off for several years when his two sons were born less than a year apart, where he devoted his time to his family. However, his desire to serve his community never wavered, and he returned when the time was right.

Mumaw said he initially became interested in serving as a volunteer fire and EMS team member by accident, when one day the department came to his father-in-law’s property in Holmesville to burn a dilapidated house.

“We were watching the burn, and the captain came over to me and asked me if I’d ever considered being a firefighter,” Mumaw said. “It had never crossed my mind. I told him I hadn’t, but watching these guys work and seeing their professionalism really caught my eye. I really felt it was something I wanted to be a part of, and I liked the idea of being able to help others in the community, especially those who were asking for help at a tough time. I like the idea of being there for people.”

Mumaw went through all the education needed to earn his fire and EMT certification, and eventually, he became a Level 2 fireman, which is a high accomplishment. Troyer said Mumaw even trained at the FDIC firefighter conference in Indianapolis, where firefighters receive training, do workshops and learn a great deal that goes above and beyond the typical training routine.

Mumaw said he hadn’t thought about becoming a fire chief. However, when the opportunity arose, he listened to his heart and decided to apply for the position.

Mumaw said like anything involving the department, it will be an ongoing learning process, but learning and growing in any role is an ongoing effort.

“Becoming chief was never in the plans, but I do enjoy stepping up to challenges,” Mumaw said. “Whatever my role is here, it is all about serving the community and helping people. That’s what we are all here to do.”

He takes on a role that will see him leading 16 department volunteers, and he said they are always seeking more volunteers to join the department.

He said developing the camaraderie of the department and growing the teamwork with neighboring departments will be one enjoyable challenge that comes with the role.

“I’m excited about what the future holds for us,” Mumaw said. “We’re here to provide the service people here in our community want and deserve, and I am looking forward to growing in every aspect as chief.”

Troyer said having someone in place who knows and understands the community is important and should create a seamless transition to a new chief.

“It will be a learning process, but we are confident Andy will do great things,” Troyer said. “I think everyone was excited about Andy taking the role. He has everyone’s respect and vice-versa.”

It didn’t take long for Mumaw to experience leading the department on a call, his initial foray into being chief coming on a barn fire call in early January on County Road 189 near Holmesville.

“I felt comfortable,” Mumaw said of his first run as chief. “No call is ever going to be perfect, but I felt it was a good call and a good run. It was a solid introduction for me.”

Troyer said the people of Prairie Township should feel very comfortable knowing they are in good hands with their new fire chief.

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load