At the November 20, 2019 Turkey Dinner, Benjamin Beiler was named Firefighter of the Year. He is a young firefighter, having joined the Fire Company as a junior firefighter six years ago when he was 17. As a boy, he heard the sirens sound and knew he wanted to be involved in the action. He wondered what all transpired when the Fire Company responded to emergencies.
Benjamin was soon to find out when he began employment at Carriage Machine Shop on Maple Avenue in Bird-in-Hand. Several employees at the business, including Stoltzfus family members who own Carriage Machine, are active firefighters and filled him in on the duties and responsibilities of a firefighter. Also, his cousins, Mark and Andrew Beiler, are members of the Bird-in-Hand Fire Company and gave him information.
Since joining the ranks, Benjamin has been a captain and a member-at-large on the Board of Directors. He helps get the tape ready in the fields for parking for the September Half-Marathon event, and then works on Friday and Saturday to direct cars in the parking areas.
Benjamin lends his expertise to the Fire Company in the area of technology. Doug Glick has been his mentor in learning to fine-tune and maintain the pagers and radio equipment. They work closely together to keep communication devices in good working order. Presently they are working on upgrading the current siren controls to a PLC (programmable logic controller). With his natural aptitude for electronics, Benjamin has a workshop set up at home where he does repairs.
Knowing that people depend on him when there are emergencies, Benjamin is committed to fulfilling his responsibility as a firefighter. “I find great value in serving our community. It is a good feeling when we respond to a call and know that we have made a difference. I enjoy it!” He encourages others to lend their expertise because there is room for everyone’s skills, such as leading trainings, maintaining equipment, and taking care of the computers.
Young firefighters like Benjamin are truly making a difference in the Bird-in-Hand Fire Company. Beyond the shiny red trucks and loud sirens and glory, they are stepping up to keep fire protection strong in our area. There is a slot for every young person who wants to join in on this rewarding endeavor!
The Firefighter of the Year is chosen through a peer nomination process.