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City swears in new firefighters

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A 2002 graduate of Hauser High School and two natives of northern Johnson County were sworn in as the newest members of the Columbus Fire Department.

Cory Hampton, 29, of Hope; Aaron Atherton, 28, of Greenwood; and Daniel Wingham, 30, of Greenwood, were given the oath of office on Jan. 21 by Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown during the weekly meeting of the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety.

Hampton, the son of Randy and Shelia Hampton of Hope, is a certified emergency medical technician. The former Hampton Masonry employee studied at Ivy Tech Community College and is currently enrolled in basic firefighting classes.

After graduating from high school in Greenwood, Atherton joined the U.S. Air Force and served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009. Atherton attended the Brown’s Point Fire Academy and became a volunteer firefighter at Graham Fire and Rescue, both located in the Tacoma, Wash., area.

Wingham first served two years as a volunteer with a fire department in the Bloomington area before being hired as a part-time firefighter on the Greenwood Fire Department in 2008. He served two years as a full-time professional firefighter with the Eli Lilly Fire and Rescue Department in Indianapolis before coming to Columbus.

The Columbus Fire Department will accept applications for new firefighters until Feb. 28. More than 200 applications are expected for consideration, said spokesman Capt. Mike Wilson.

Applications are available at the department’s headquarters, 1101 Jackson St. A $5 fee will be charged for applications picked up at the station. They are also available to download without charge from the city’s website at fire-index.

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