New Middletown fire chief has 30 years of experience with department

Snively moves into role after Lolli becomes city manager.

For a man who started his career at an elevator company, Thomas Snively has risen through the ranks all the way up to the penthouse of his profession.

Snively, who has worked for the Middletown Division of Fire for 30 years, was promoted from assistant fire chief to fire chief during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He was pinned by his wife, Sharin during a ceremony that was attended by numerous members of the fire and police departments.

City Manager Paul Lolli, the former fire chief, said on the same night eight years ago he and Rodney Muterspaw were promoted to chiefs of the fire and police department.

Muterspaw retired and was elected to City Council.

“Look at us now,” Lolli said with a laugh. “In eight years, look where you can be.”

Snively, 57, talked about the four fire stations being built in the city after voters overwhelming passed a 1-mill property tax levy in May 2022. The cost to build four fire stations in Middletown has increased from $16.8 million to $19.8 million, or 18% higher.

He called being fire chief “a great opportunity” and it “couldn’t be a better time” in the department.

He was selected from the eligibility list as a result of Civil Service testing procedures.

Snively will be paid $116,660.96 a year, according to city documents. The 57-year-old is in the drop program so he must retire by June 2025, he said.

Replacing Lolli “won’t be easy,” Snively said. While Lolli is a “very social guy,” Snively called himself an introvert.

It’s reassuring that Lolli still works for the city so he can provide guidance, Snively said.

He holds state certifications as a Firefighter II, an EMT-P, fire inspector, and fire instructor. Snively is a graduate of Sinclair Community College where he received an associate’s degree in EMS and Fire Administration and the state of Ohio Fire Executive program.

“I’m prepared for the position,” said Snively, who worked for Fujitec in Lebanon before he entered the fire department.

The fire department will hold a competitive exam for the open assistant fire chief position, Snively said.

This will be Snively second time being a fire chief, but first in Middletown. In 2018, he was named Franklin Twp’s fire chief, a part-time position he held for three months.

Snively, who lives in Franklin Twp., has two daughters, Ashley Bazemore and Haley Carol; two grandchildren, Hudson and Alaina,; and two stepsons, Brandon and Ryan Day.


1992: Joined Middletown Division of Fire

1993: Earned paramedic certification

1995: Promoted to apparatus operator

2000: Promoted to lieutenant

2004: Promoted to captain

2006: Promoted to deputy chief

2015: Promoted to assistant fire chief

2022: Promoted to fire chief

SOURCE: Middletown Division of Fire

About the Author