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Commissioners present Lycoming County EMS awards

Joe Hopple, of Old Lycoming Township. PAT CROSSLEY/Sun-Gazette

It was a packed house at Executive Plaza this week as representatives of the emergency services community were on hand at the Lycoming County commissioners meeting to acknowledge the recipients of this year’s Lycoming County Emergency Medical Service Awards.

One of the highest honors, the Kline A. DeWire Lifetime Achievement Memorial Award, is given to a current EMS provider in the region with 10 or more years of service. This year the award went to Joe Hopple, of Old Lycoming Township.

Hopple, who was a friend of DeWire’s, has been involved in emergency services for over 40 years.

In accepting the award, Hopple joked that he and DeWire had always shied away from being nominated for any type of award, finding any way they could to decline. DeWire passed away after becoming ill while on duty in 2007. He was 44 at the time.

“I’m fully prepared to say two words — he died,” Hopple said.

“In the 1990s, when I had the honor of being president of the EMS Council, I also had the honor to have as my chairman of the awards committee, Mr. Kline DeWire. It seems every time I nominated Kline for an award, he declined. It seems every time he would nominate me for an award, I would use my presidential powers and block it. So, the only way he could get this through was to die,” he said, adding “some people go to strange lengths to accomplish what they want to accomplish.”

On a more serious note, Hopple shared his memories of the night his friend, DeWire, passed away, his emotions making it difficult to speak at times.

“It’s been 15 years since we lost my bro and I drove that night all the way from Delaware,” he said.

“There’s a line in the movie “Top Gun” after Goose is killed, when his widow tells Maverick, he would have done it anyway, but he would have hated it. That’s me now, I continue, but I miss him every day. This award touches me more than you’ll ever know,” he added.

Other award recipients were:

• Lycoming EMT Award: Jody McKibbon, DuBoistown

• Lycoming Paramedic Award: Scott Tempesco, Susquehanna Regional EMS

• Lycoming Telecommunicator Award: Clinton Frackman, Lycoming County

• Lycoming Instructor Award: Tim Weaver, Susquehanna Regional EMS

• Lycoming Emergency Physician Award: Dr. Gregory Frailey, Regional Medical Director

• Lycoming County Community Impact Award: Bruce Guinter, Brad Stine and Ray Murphy, Plunketts Creek

In other business at the meeting, the commissioners voted to approve a deed of dedication with the Montgomery Water Authority for the water line to Timber Run Industrial Park, the water tank, and other portions of the facilities that are being constructed.

Shannon Rossman, planning director for the county, presented the agenda item for approval noting that the commissioners were being asked to approve pending some minor changes in legal language in the document.

“The reason we’re asking you to do this pending is because we need to do this so that the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) will come in and we’ll do the inspection. They can’t supply water to Digger until the inspection is completed for a potable water supply,” Rossman said.

Rossman noted that everything at the project, along Route 15 near Montgomery, is going well and that Digger is beginning to interview for positions at the facility, which is expected to employ 150 people.

Other action items approved by the commissioners were:

A change order for RLS Construction for the construction of a health and wellness center.

An amendment to an agreement with Monitronics International, Inc.for changes to the security system at the new district justice office.

An amendment to an agreement with Windstream to move phone service from the Court House to the Third Street Plaza at no cost.

A real estate refund of $715 to Ashley Martin for property in Porter Township.

A change order for Lecce Electric for $52,412 for cabling for internet and telephone.

The next commissioners’ meeting will be at 10 a.m., May 26 at the Commissioners’ Board Room, 1st floor, Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St.

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