As 2016 comes to a close and all of us write a new chapter in our lives, so does the Ephrata Pioneer Fire Company. Chief Allen Pettyjohn has stepped down as Fire Chief in an effort to focus his time and energy in his new position as Sargent in Arms at Alpo's Boot Camp for Grandkids. Chief Pettyjohn has served the Ephrata Borough residents selflessly for a great many years, earning the privilege to be honored as a life member. Chief Pettyjohn served in many roles within the department both tactically and administratively. Chief Pettyjohn served as treasurer, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief, and fire chief to name a few. It was within these roles that Chief Pettyjohn helped lead the department and provide the Ephrata residents with the professional fire and rescue services they have come to expect. Chief Pettyjohn made monumental strides in developing and implementing department standard operating guidelines, which outlines the overall operations of the department and helps every member understand their role within the department. Chief Pettyjohn also helped facilitate the development, training, and implementation of the Nationally recognized water rescue team. Chief Pettyjohn instituted a cultural change within the organization that focused on training and certifications. This training helped the department to respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively. The encouragement that Chief Pettyjohn has placed on training and certification has increased the potential for the department to be awarded grant money to fund equipment for the department. The Borough residents can also see the effect training and certifications has on their homeowners insurance. The more well trained and equipped a department, than the better the score is on the Insurance Services Organization report. This score is reviewed by insurance companies when writing a policy and helps determine the price of insurance to the homeowner.
Chief Pettyjohn has influenced all the members of the department over his many years of service. He has filled many roles that included at times; father, principal, guidance counselor, friend, mentor, disciplinarian, and role model, but his most important role may have been the most often over looked role. The role of the teacher of your successor. Chief Pettyjohn helped guide, coach, train, and mentor his replacement, Chief Mike Kiefer. There is no doubt Chief Kiefer will continue to lead the department into greatness just as his predecessor have done for many, many years. Ephrata Pioneer Fire Company holds Chief Pettyjohn in the highest regard and wish him luck as he turns his passion, devotion, and leadership to his family and friends. Thank you Chief Pettyjohn for your service!