Looking for a New Year’s resolution that will change your life and the lives of others? Consider volunteering with Ringing Hill Fire Company.
From protecting lives and property to mastering new skills and building lifetime friendships, joining the fire company will make an impact on both the volunteer and the community.
For new volunteer Todd Krock, joining Ringing Hill Fire Company also helped him fulfill a childhood dream. “I always want to help people in need,” said Krock. “That mentality is cooked into my DNA.”
When he was a child, Krock’s uncle was Assistant Chief and his neighbor was Chief of Overlook Fire Company Station 290 in central Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school and then Penn State University with a degree in Information Technology, he married quickly and had four children. “I wanted to join sooner, but I also wanted to take care of my kids and family,” said Krock.
Now in his mid-40s, his kids are older and can take care of themselves more. On September 11, 2021, Krock thought about firefighting again and how it was always something he wanted to do. That day, he visited Ringing Hill’s recruitment website JoinRingingHill.com, and filled out the inquiry form. Assistant Chief Brian Weil contacted him shortly after and his journey to become a firefighter began.
So far, Krock completed fire police training and plans to complete Firefighter I in 2022. On calls, he helps with exterior firefighting by grabbing tools and equipment, dragging hoses and setting up ladders. Once he graduates from Firefighter I, he can then be an interior firefighter.
Although the classes are a time commitment, volunteering is pretty flexible. Krock works a Monday through Friday job, so he mainly responds to calls on the evenings and weekends.
“I’m learning every time I go out on a call,” said Krock. “Any opportunity they can turn into a learning moment for me, they do it. They’re always educating me as much as possible when it’s safe.”
Krock has a running joke with Weil that he’s asked thousands of questions, but all the volunteers, young or old, want to answer those questions and help out.
“They all want to share, be open, and available – and as the new person – that’s everything you want,” said Krock, who loves both the adrenaline rush and the aspect of helping the community.
“First, it’s the thrill of hearing the alarm go off and finding out what the incident is. Right now, it’s all new to me. It’s exciting; it’s fresh.”
Then it’s him asking “What do you need me to do?” Because he wants to help and he doesn’t want to be in anyone’s way.
Ultimately, Krock says, “It’s about giving back and hoping one day someone would do that and show up for me.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Department Registry in 2021, 90.1% of fire companies in Pennsylvania are all-volunteer and 6.7% of fire companies are mostly volunteer.
“The more volunteers you have, the more you can do and the better you can help,” said Krock. “You’re faster and better equipped.”
Volunteers can also make a difference without fighting fires.
“Whether you are a volunteer firefighter or auxiliary member, each and every volunteer is crucial to the fire company and keeping our community safe,” said Deputy Chief Derek Dry. “There is a place for everyone here and we can never have too many volunteers.”
Ringing Hill Fire Company has the following roles available:
- Firefighters are the greatest need of any volunteer fire department. Firefighters train to respond to fires, motor vehicle accidents and off-road calls with state-of-the-art equipment. Volunteer firefighters must be at least 18 years old.
- Junior firefighters, ages 16 and 17, assist firefighters at emergency scenes by bringing equipment to firefighters, pulling hoses and positioning ladders. Although junior firefighters cannot enter burning buildings, they can help outside the building’s exterior and on the trucks. Teenagers can also fulfill volunteer hours they need for high school graduation projects, and discover a new passion or career path.
- Fire Police direct traffic and crowds to ensure the safety of the public and firefighters during emergency scenes or community events.
- Auxiliary members organize community events and fundraisers that benefit Ringing Hill Fire Company such as the Santa Run, the Easter Egg Candy Sale and bingo.
“If any of these roles interest you, the New Year is a great time to start,” said Dry. “We provide all the training and equipment you need to answer calls, and you will not find anything more rewarding than giving back to your community as a volunteer.”
Visit JoinRingingHill.org to kick-off the New Year on a new adventure. Reach new heights at the hill today.