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Polk Fire Company recognizes those who help

  • Line officers are Chris Overpeck, chief engineer; Christian Lenway, lieutenant; Matt Schessler, captain; Rich Beck, safety officer; Bill Thompson, captain; Aaron Keller, second assistant chief; Terry Jacoby, fire chief; Billy Tippet, assistant chief…
    Line officers are Chris Overpeck, chief engineer; Christian Lenway, lieutenant; Matt Schessler, captain; Rich Beck, safety officer; Bill Thompson, captain; Aaron Keller, second assistant chief; Terry Jacoby, fire chief; Billy Tippet, assistant chief and Rick Scherer, safety officer.
Published January 27. 2011 05:00PM

Members, friends and spouses of the Polk Township Fire Company met at the firehall on Jan. 22 for dinner, awards and entertainment.

President Matt Schessler opened by thanking people from the community who support the fire company. From the township were Nancy May, Brian Ahner and Mike Herley.

Tommy Whitmore is good at fixing anything around the firehouse such as the steam table that needed repair in the past year. Jackie Whitmore calls bingo.

Nate Sawyer comes to fix the trucks when it is beyond firemen's abilities. Jeff Fisher helped with the walk-in cooler and Janet "did a fabulous job at the walk-in." Allan Eckhart fixed the ice machine.

"We appreciate everyone coming," said Schessler. The dinner is catered and provided by the firemen free of charge.

Special jobs done by the firemen were Bill Tippett in charge of replacing and refacing the firehouse. A fence was built in the grove.

The company received a gaming grant which will help buy a new outdoor generator and new radios.

The meat raffle was a success with 2,900 tickets of a total of 3,000 sold. Bill Thompson chaired that committee.

Christian Lenway organized the fire safety program.

"A few special people have met milestones with the company. Fifteen years ago Bill Campbell joined. He worked his way up and also became an emergency medical technician with the West End Ambulance Corps. Now he is the fire company chaplain," said Schlessler. He received a plaque for his service.

Bill Tippett joined 25 years ago when the Robin Hood development fire company was absorbed by Polk. He has served as president, lieutenant, safety officer and assistant chief. He maintains the grounds at both firehouses. In his absence, son Billy Tippett accepted a plaque in his honor.

A local businessman who is always ready to help with his tow truck when needed is Barry Borger. He was a director for six years and chief for seven years. He received a plaque.

Schessler said the company enjoys going to the Pen Argyl firemen's parade and wins frequently enough that he said, "We own that parade."

Christian Lenway and Chris Overpeck took charge of a crew that polished the tanker before the parade. It won the best-appearing tanker award for 2010. Schessler said people should look for the trophy in the trophy case.

Plans for 2011 include installing a new generator and that the dances will be coming back with the first one on Feb. 12. The dance announcement was met with cheers.

Executive officers were recognized: Eddie Arnold, Christian Lenway, Rich Beck, Linda Kile, Aaron Keller, Rick Scherer, Ken Hawk, Bill Thompson, Billy Tippett and Matt Schessler, president.

Line officers are: Chris Overpeck, Christian Lenway, Matt Schessler, Rich Beck, Bill Thompson, Aaron Keller, Terry Jacoby, Billy Tippett and Rick Scherer.

Schessler said there is always a plaque naming the executive officers. This year he began a tradition to honor the auxiliary in the same manner. The plaques will be hung side by side.

Executive officers for the Polk Township Ladies' Auxiliary are: Blanche Strausberger; Dottie Kreger; Melody Schessler, treasurer; Sue Shoemaker, secretary; Edna Schoenberger, vice president and President Alice Harner.

"What can you say about them? They provide the best food around. You have to respect what they do," said Schessler.

Harner presented a check for $12,100 from the auxiliary to Schessler. It brought the total donations for the year to $38,000. Harner said for the December breakfast when Santa was there to talk to the kids they served 729 people. She said people were lined up around the hall waiting to be fed. "It was a killer."

That was only the biggest of the 13 events the auxiliary sponsored in 2010.

She recognized her oldest member, Charlotte Illiano, who, at 86, could not be present because she broke her foot shoveling snow.

The Jacoby award goes to someone who damaged apparatus, etc. This year it went to Aaron Keller, who ran out of gas. He received a yellow diesel can for his award.

A memorial committee was formed. Present from that committee were Candy and Clarence Hawk and Eddie Arnold. In addition to keeping drapes in shape over the doors when someone passes on, the committee designed a plaque with room for 155 names.

"There are only a few who were here in 1969 when the fire company was started. We want to be sure they are not forgotten," said Arnold.

When it was unveiled by the Hawks it had 22 name plates honoring the 22 people who died during the 42 years Arnold was with the company. Twenty-five names will be added for people who were members but left the company.

Schessler said it was an awesome job. Only one person passed away in the line of duty - Jim Macauley.

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