Columbus Fire Department has hired three new firefighters while and bid goodbye to one veteran who retired.

Firefighter Tim Loyd was hired by the department on May 9, 1997, and retired with 20 years of service.

However, the department is at full staff with the hiring Chris Baker, Monty Ball and Ryan Hirtzel.

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Hirtzel, 29, is a 2006 graduate of Seymour High School. He is certified as a paramedic technician with additional training in pediatric life support, pre-hospital trauma life support and advanced cardiac life support. Hirtzel also holds Indiana Firefighter I and II certifications, and a Hazardous Materials Operations and Awareness certification. He has served with Jackson County EMS for nine years.

Baker, 33, is a 2003 graduate of Batesville High School. He is certified as an emergency medical technician, rope rescue technician, hazardous materials technician and a vehicle and machinery extrication technician. Baker also holds Indiana Firefighter I and II certifications. He has served 12 years with the Batesville Volunteer Fire Department and four years as a full-time firefighter with the Greensburg Fire Department. Baker currently resides in Batesville.

Ball, 40, is a resident of Waldron, and is a 1995 graduate of Morristown High School. He attended Vincennes University and IUPUI, where he studied electronics engineering. Ball is a certified paramedic technician, rope rescue technician, hazardous materials technician and a vehicle and machinery extrication technician. He holds Indiana Firefighter I and II certifications. Ball has worked for the Greenfield Fire Department for the past 10 years, where he also has served as a part-time firefighter for the Greenwood Fire Department. Ball has worked in public safety for a total of 13 years.

These firefighters will undergo a department orientation and training program before receiving their shift and station assignments.