Frank Root III

Frank Root II

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 3-1-06, By Julie A. Short

``Fire chief position comes back to its Root(s)

AVON -- With the recent retiring of Avon Fire Chief Frank Root Jr., the department didn't have to go far to name its new chief. Frank Root III began his first official day on the job Feb. 26 (the formal swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for a later date). Root III is Root Jr.'s son and the two have worked side-by-side at the department for more than 20 years.

"He's done all the ground work for me," Root III said. "It's been a pleasure to work every day with my dad. We usually saw things on the same page. He's done a lot for this department." During Root Jr.'s tenure, which began in 1967 as a firefighter and then as the first fire chief to be tested for the position in 1988 (previous fire chiefs were appointed based on seniority), much has been accomplished.

"Under my dad's leadership we now have a new fire station and 21 full-time firefighters," Root III said. "He has also kept the department up to date in terms of technology and training. I plan to continue those practices. As the city continues to grow, so must the fire department. In 1984, we averaged 250 calls. This past year, we had 1,600."

Root III, 39, is the youngest fire chief to be named to the department. He began fighting fires at the age of 18. The 1984 graduate of Avon High School attended Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College for his firefighter and paramedic training. He also worked for 17 years as a firefighter in Elyria.

"He's a long-time fireman with a wealth of experience," Avon Mayor Jim Smith said of the new fire chief. "Frank is very up-to-date when it comes to technology and that will help the department. There are a lot of guys from other cities working in the department and they bring ideas from the other departments where they have worked. It's a nice mix and Frank will do a nice job working with all of them."

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Regarding retiring chief Frank Jr., Smith noted that he will be missed. "I've known Frank all my life," Smith said. "He's done a great job for the city. He operated the fire department like it was his own. Frank was very frugal about his spending, but he kept that department in line."

"Frank was the one who pushed for a full-time fire department," the mayor continued. "A lot of people fought it. He was great during the transition from part-time to full-time. He was exactly what we needed during that time. He set much of the policies and procedures that will be followed for many years to come. His son will have a rough time replacing his dad; Frank was unique."

Root III is the father of three children and enjoys skiing, and spending time with family and friends. "I'm looking forward to getting started in this new role with the department," Root III said. "I know my dad is only a phone call away." As for what the future holds for Root Jr., his son said he plans to continue running his businesses and enjoying life.''

For more on the Root family, see A Letter to the Editor by Jessie Root, wife of Frank Root I

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