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City announces new leadership for bureau

Sam Aungst is sworn in as the new chief for the Williamsport Bureau of Fire during a ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Williamsport Monday morning Jan. 24, 2022. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

Williamsport Bureau of Fire has a new fire chief, Sam Aungst, a veteran of the department who was sworn in Monday, and Keith Lucas, another long-time member as deputy chief.

Aungst, who officially has four years left until his retirement from the bureau, replaced Mark Killian, who officials at the ceremony said will remain with the department, while former Deputy Fire Chief Mark Calderini will no longer be with the department.

The ceremony, held inside of the fire station on Walnut Street, shortly after firefighters rushed out to assist on a possible structure fire in Montoursville, was attended by other firefighters, city employees and City Councilman Randall J. Allison.

Mayor Derek Slaughter introduced Aungst and Lucas, sharing each of their career firefighting and military backgrounds and said he believed they were the right choices to lead the fire department in its current path.

“I appreciate the confidence the mayor and the folks from the city have in me,” Aungst said, adding how it would be an honor to work with Lucas, the platoon chiefs, lieutenants and all members of the WBF.

Aungst was hired with the department in 1992, laid off in 1996 and returned in 2002.

Aungst served tours in the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He was promoted to engineer in 2004, inspector in 2011 and platoon chief in 2014 and was named interim deputy chief in 2020.

A member of the International Association of Firefighters Local 736, where he previously served as its treasurer, trustee and sergeant of arms, Aungst helped to organize the Local 736 Bureau of Fire Honor Guard.

“We are going to get back to the basics, get rejuvenated and move forward and bring the department into the 21st century and these guys to the forefront,” he said.

“We’re here for firefighting, saving lives, protecting property and working with our fellow firefighters from around the area,” he said.

Aungst is an Old Lycoming Township supervisor, a position he said that he intends to keep as he works as city fire chief until a replacement can be found.

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