Carbon County commissioners recognized one of its area fire chiefs, who was recently honored on the state level.

During the county commissioners meeting on Thursday, the board presented Ralph C. Lennon, fire chief of the Lake Harmony Volunteer Fire Company, with a resolution recognizing his achievements during the 50 years that he has been a firefighter.

Commissioner Charles Getz then read a resolution, which announced that Lennon was the recipient of the James A. Miller "A" Service Award from the Firemen's Association of the State of Pennsylvania. The award, according to the resolution, "is presented annually to a person from the state association who has contributed to the benefit, welfare, and improvement of the fire service of the Commonwealth in an outstanding manner through service over the years."

Lennon began his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1960 when he joined the Marion Hose Company of Jim Thorpe. He later moved to Philadelphia, where he served 32 and a half years with the Glenside Fire Company No. 1 in Montgomery County. During that time, he was named fire chief of the station and was awarded a life membership at that company; as well as volunteered part-time at the Lake Harmony Fire Company.

After retiring in 1997, Lennon returned to Carbon County and joined Lake Harmony Fire Company as a full-time responder. He became the company's assistant chief in 2003 and fire chief in 2005.

The resolution states, "Mr. Lennon's leadership became a driving force and reason for the company's continued growth and improvement, including the purchase of a new ladder truck with a 2,000 gpm pump; the opening of an emergency access road onto Interstate 80, enabling the company to provide expedited responses on the busy traffic artery; the design and future construction of a new fire station to serve the community; and Lake Harmony hosting the 2011 Pennsylvania State Firemen's Parade, of which Mr. Lennon will serve as co-chair."

Getz added that the board was proud of Lennon and all the volunteers that serve and protect the county's residents.

He noted that, "Mr. Lennon is a type of individual that doesn't only act as a chief, he's out there cleaning the station, washing the equipment down, doing the fundraising and more. He does it all. Ralph we're so proud of you."

Commissioners William O'Gurek and Wayne Nothstein echoed Getz's thoughts and congratulated Lennon on his achievements.

Lennon said he was surprised and honored for the resolution and thanked the commissioners

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," he said. "Like I said many times, I get the award in this case but nobody could do it by themselves. It's always been a team effort and always has to be."

He then talked about the lower number of volunteers in fire companies over the years and urged younger individuals to get involved with the fire departments.