LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The Georgetown, Indiana, Township Fire Protection District has a new chief.

After surveying a large pool of applicants, the Board of Fire Trustees said it has hired Oral "Bill" Banta to fill the vacant position, according to a news release. 

Banta has more than 30 years of experience in fire service, including 20 years with the Louisville Division of Fire before retiring as a district chief, trustees said. For the past 10 years, he has given emergency response training to local communities through his own company.

"We will focus on providing top quality service during these current times," Banta said in a statement. "We are going to put plans and resources in place that will allow the Department to grow as the community grows. Georgetown Fire Department is going to offer excellent career opportunities for career firefighters while maintaining its long-standing strong volunteer firefighter tradition."

Banta is also a licensed paramedic and a volunteer firefighter with Scottsburg Fire Department.

"Chief Banta has the perfect blend of experience and demonstrated leadership needed to lead our fire department, especially during these difficult times," said Michael Moody, chairman of the Board of Fire Trustees, in a statement. 

The department's previous chief, Richard Bader, resigned in January after firefighters complained about a toxic culture — including bullying, double standards and threats — that was perpetuated under his leadership.

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