For the Lightcap family, volunteering and helping people is second nature to them. Bud Lightcap, 54, volunteers at Ringing Hill Fire Company with his wife, Kim, and two sons, Jake, 30, and Brian, 28.
Bud, who is the Chief of Ringing Hill Fire Company, started in the fire service in 1983 and joined Ringing Hill Fire Company as a volunteer firefighter in 1990. He has served as the Chief for 18 years now.
His reason for joining the fire service was simple. “I wanted to help the community in their time of need,” said Bud.
Bud enjoys volunteering with his sons, Jake and Brian, and said it was especially cool when Jake served alongside him as Assistant Chief of Ringing Hill Fire Company. Jake now volunteers as a firefighter at Ringing Hill and is also the Chief at North End Fire Company in Pottstown.
“I joined Ringing Hill 13 years ago because of my dad,” said Jake. “When I was younger and hung out at the firehouse, there was an attraction and allure to everything. What kid doesn’t like the big, shiny trucks with all the lights and sirens?”
Every major incident has been memorable to Jake, who has run many calls with his father. It’s given Jake a sense of accomplishment to go from child to Chief as well.
“I went from being the kid running around and grabbing equipment to developing into a Chief running incidents and being asked my opinion,” said Jake. “My dad’s taught me through all the chaos to keep calm and cool.”
While Jake is on the firefighting side of things, Brian is a social member of the fire company. He helps out with all the holiday activities such as the Easter Egg Candy Sale and other odds and ends the fire company needs.
Brian remembers helping out at Ringing Hill Fire Company since he was young and officially became a member 10 years ago. “With me being as involved as I was, it made sense to join and be involved in company meetings, voting and the general benefits of being a member of the fire company,” said Brian.
Brian and Jake both look up to their dad as a Chief and leader who has dedicated a lot of his time for Ringing Hill Fire Company to run smoothly.
“My dad can be stern when he needs to be but he is, more often than not, a very calm man who can handle tough situations without losing his temper,” said Brian. “He handles everything very professionally and is very good at dealing with other firefighters, fire companies, citizens and everyone in between, in any situation.”
Jake also agrees that the ability to remain calm in stressful situations is vital to leadership and a quality of his dad. “He keeps his composure and keeps calm under pressure,” said Jake.
Bud says balancing his professional and personal life with his responsibilities as Chief can be difficult. “It is very tough at times, but you just have to do what needs to be done,” said Bud.
The members of Ringing Hill Fire Company’s dedication to serving their community has earned them a strong foothold in Lower Pottsgrove Township.
“I think the best words to describe what I’ve learned as a volunteer are reputation and trust,” said Brian. “Due to the professional and intelligent way everything gets done at Ringing Hill, they have clearly earned the trust of the people they serve and interact with, and have a great reputation in the community.”
Bud hopes that one day his grandson Tony, who is Brian’s son, will follow in their footsteps as well. “He is a year and a half old and enjoys going to the station to see the trucks,” said Bud. “They say volunteering is in your blood so he should have it in his.”
In addition to Bud and Brian, Brian’s father-in-law was a fire chief for a long time and is now a driver with Ringing Hill Fire Company, so volunteering may be in Tony’s future as well.
Ringing Hill Fire Company has multiple volunteer positions available: firefighter, junior firefighter for teens 16 and 17, fire police and auxiliary/social members.
“Any and all volunteer organizations are struggling,” said Jake. “Help, funding, you name it, the struggle gets worse as the years go on. Support your local volunteer organizations!”
For all volunteers, Ringing Hill Fire Company provides them with training and gear. No experience is necessary to join. For anyone interested in volunteering, fill out an inquiry form at https://joinringinghill.org/contact/ and a volunteer will be in touch soon.