City adds 3 to firefighting staff

MARK MARONEY/Sun-Gazette Mark Boyles, Chris Berninger and Lee Arbogast, from left to right, are welcomed Thursday by City Council and the administration as city Bureau of Fire firefighters.

Three cadets made it through “long, agonizing weeks at Harrisburg Area Community College’s fire academy” and begin work with the city Bureau of Fire, the city fire chief said.

Mark Boyles, Chris Berninger and Lee Arbogast were hired and recently introduced by city Fire Chief Todd Heckman to City Council.

The fire union mandates 30 firefighters to be on staff and there are three command staff, namely Heckman, Assistant Chief Mark Killian and Deputy Chief David Dymeck.

Arbogast is from Muncy and comes with volunteer experience, Heckman said.

The others benefitted by Lee’s practical experience, Heckman noted.

Berninger has a love of Special Olympics and firefighting, while Boyles also joined a local fire department and was pulled away to be put into the academy, Heckman said.

As is tradition, each shook council’s hands before councilmen offered a few parting words.

Council President Jonathan Williamson welcomed them and thanked them for their willingness to contribute to the safety and well being of the city.

He wished them a “safe and long and not quite prosperous career,” and added, “the city is an important place to all of us and we put it in your hands to help keep it the place we love, work and play in. All I ask is that you take the responsibility seriously and do your best to make certain everyone makes it home at the end of the day.”

Councilman Joel Henderson, chairman of the public safety committee, observed how council recently honored the fire department staff for risking their lives.

“We know we know you will be part of a top-notch team and that training will continue,” he said.

“Congratulations and stay safe,” said Councilman Don Noviello.

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