Polk Township Fire Company names officers, honors those who help
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Line officers for 2013 are Billy Tippett, chief; Aaron Keller, assistant chief; Barry Borger, safety officer; Rick Sherer and Matt Schessler, captains; Rich Beck, lieutenant; and Al Keller, engineer.
The naming of officers was the first item on the agenda as Polk Township Fire Company held its annual banquet. The event is catered so members can enjoy an evening of fire company business followed by music for dancing.
The new chief, Billy Tippett, said that not many people get to live their childhood dream, but that is what he is doing.
The 2013 goals are to buy a new truck, get back to basics on training and develop more unity within the company.
"It's a volunteer outfit with many opinions which can cause differences. My goal is to respect and listen to what others have to say," Tippett said.
Nancy May, a Polk Township supervisor, did the swearing in for those for whom it is required. After Barry Borger, emergency management coordinator; and William Tippett, chief, were sworn in they were presented with certificates by May: for Tippett in appreciation of all he has done and in appreciation of Borger who, in times of need, puts forth effort for his community.
The business officers are William Smith, president; Candy Burger, vice president; Mary Beth Serfass, secretary; Ken Hawk, treasurer; and on the board of directors: Rich Sherer, Linda Kile, Bernie Shea, Chris Overpeck, Aaron Keller and Rich Beck.
Line officers are: Billy Tippett, chief; Aaron Keller, assistant chief; Barry Borger, safety officer; Rick Sherer and Matt Schessler, captains, Rich Beck, lieutenant and Al Keller, engineer.
The auxiliary members were named: Edna Schoenberger, president; Shirley Haydt, vice president; Sue Shoemaker, secretary; Melody Schessler, treasurer; and Dottie Kreger, booking; and Vickie Serfass, corresponding secretary.
Schoenberger thanked the people that help at bingo and all the waitresses. She presented a check to President William Smith for $10,900 which brought the auxiliary's total donation for the year to $30,000.
Smith said the company had purchased a freezer and cooler in 2012. The upstairs floor was replaced with the fire company logo as part of the floor. Jeff and Janet Fisher were presented with plaques for the many service calls they make, some late at night, to care for the freezer, cooler and air conditioner.
Burger has helped day or night and at least one time it was with a "smelly" situation.
Matt Frable helped by providing topsoil and moved a trailer when things were being returned to the firehouse after the floor was redone.
Dean Haydt helped move the smoke house. His plaque was accepted by his son.
The Polk Supervisors provided heavy equipment when it was needed to move the smokehouse and other moving.
Borger used his wrecking truck to help and Smith said, "I hope we never have to have you pull us out again."
Bill Tippett was always there when something broke. He is also the buildings and grounds man.
Bernie Shea and Eddie Arnold were credited with "keeping this building going." Matt Schessler cares for the marquee and liaisons with the auxiliary.
Terry Jacoby and John Kline Jr. headed the committee for the golf tournament.
"Remember, we had a hurricane," said Smith. Barry Borger said the firehouse had to be opened to provide shelter and heat for people. Many of the fire company members turned out to help.
Matt Schessler, Aaron Keller and Bill Thompson run the dances. The next one will be April 6.
Al Keller and Chris Overpeck work on the truck. Blanche and Dick Strausberger allow the company to overflow onto their abutting property when needed for parking or helicopter landings.
A plaque with the names of all the women who ever served in the Auxiliary was presented to Schoenberger. It will be hung in the fire hall to honor their work.
Rich Beck provided a slide show which included views from the past year's work and newspaper clippings from four local papers. One headline said the first call was made 4-28-69 and Eddie Arnold was the chief. The slides were shown to "God Bless the USA," "The Firefighters' Song," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," and more.
A portable classroom at the back corner of the property was donated by the school district. It will be turned into a safety building.
Forty-year members received gold service pins with the company emblem. They are Ed Arnold, Clarence Hawk, Ken Hawk and Mitch Kreger. Members with 35 years of service are Barry Borger and Al Keller: 30 years - Mary Lou Hawk and Larry Weibley; 25 years - Candy Burger, Rusty Burger, Bernie Shea, William Smith, William Thompson and Bill Tippett; 20 years - Rich Beck, Terry Jacoby and Aaron Keller; 15 years - Bill Campbell, John Kline Jr. and Rick Sherer; 10 years - Billy Tippett and Matt Schessler; and 5 years - Christian Lenway, Chris Overpeck, Henry Schierloh, Derrick Burger and Ray Fitzpatrick.