It's not every day that more than 300 years of dedicated service fighting fires gets recognized all at the same time, but that's what happened at the Norco Firehouse Saturday during the fire company's annual holiday party.
That is when eight long-time members of the company were recognized and presented with awards by officials from the Pennsylvania General Assembly and North Coventry Township.
On hand to do the honors were state Sen. John Rafferty, R-44th Dist.; state Rep. Tim Hennesey,
The awards came as a surprise to the eight volunteers who together, have given a combined 333 years of service to fighting fires in North Coventry Township and beyond.
The recipients and their histories are as follows:
Doug Keim, 73, who joined the fire company in 1959 was honored for 54 years of service.
He was fire chief from 1973 to 1986 and again in 1990. He is a past fire marshal and was directly involved with rescue efforts during the 1972 disaster of Hurricane Agnes.
He is currently the fire company's oldest (and longest active) firefighter, and his father was also an active member of the company until his passing.
Randy Richter, 67, joined the fire company in 1965 and was honored for his 48 years of service.
From 1995 to 2003, he served as fire chief.
Currently captain of the Norco Fire Police, he served as chief engineer for the fire company for more than 25 years and he too was directly involved with the rescue efforts during Hurricane Agnes.
John Fisher, 52, joined the fire company in 1980 and was honored for 33 years of service with the fire company.
A member of the board of directors for many years, he has served as an assistant engineer for many years and is currently the assistant chief.
He was Fire Company President in 1996, 1997 and is currently vice-president elect.
Additionally, Boettlin served for many years in the fire police and is a past fire police lieutenant.
He has also served as the company's delegate to the Pennsylvania State Fire Convention for many years.
Terry Baker, 65, was also involved in the rescue efforts during Hurricane Agnes and joined the fire company in 1966.
Honored for 47 years of service with the fire company Saturday, he is currently a fire police lieutenant, past financial secretary and handles all fire hall rentals.
Baker also served for many years on the fire company's board of directors.
Pennya Comtois, 56, was the company's first female Fire Company President and still holds the post today.
She joined in 1970 and was honored Saturday for 43 years of service.
A former president of the Ladies auxiliary, Comtois has served on many fire company committees and her mother, Ellie Ellis, was also an active member until her passing.
McMillan has served for many years as an assistant fire chief, was the fire chief in 1994 and holds that post today.
Charles Schukraft, 52, joined the fire company in 1979 and was honored for 34 years of service with the fire company.
A member of the board of directors for many years, Schukraft is a past chief engineer and is currently an assistant engineer and fire lieutenant.