LUTHERSBURG — The Brady Township Volunteer Fire Department recently hosted a dedication ceremony for the Firefighter Memorial Wall, a project spearheaded by fourth-generation firefighter Matthew Wachob, located outside of the fire hall in Luthersburg.
Wachob, a 2019 graduate of Jeff Tech school in Reynoldsville, completed the wall for his senior project. He was a junior fireman at the time he chose to do the project in August 2018, according to his father, Scott Wachob, who is secretary of the Brady Township Fire Department.
The wall features Brady Township Volunteer Fire Department founders and current and past members.
During the ceremony, township Supervisor and former fire Chief Charlie Muth, in addition to commending Wachob on his project, talked about the various changes in the fire department over the years with regard to equipment and training.
“The memorial shows those who presently serve, as well as those who served in the past,” said Muth. “Along the way, he also realized there was a lot of history with the fire department and he wanted to keep that in mind as he moved forward with this project. As for future members of the department, one would only hope that they are as dedicated and determined as Matthew has been on this project.”
Brady Township fire Chief Russell Perks also had words of praise for Wachob and recalled Wachob’s approaching him about the idea for his project.
“I looked at him and I said, ‘Matt you understand how big of a project you’re taking on?’” said Perks. “His remark was, ‘Yes sir.’ I said, ‘I hope you understand there’s a lot involved here.’ ‘I can do it chief,’ he said. I said I know you can. When Matthew first joined, he wanted to do everything. And he’s always there.”
Perks said he thinks about the past and the present of the fire department — how much was given to the department and the history of how this department started.
“There’s a lot of nights that we go by and miss birthday parties, in the middle of the night we leave and our kids and family don’t know we left,” said Perks. My kids have joined because of me and they give back to their community. And I thank the past and the present chiefs for what they’ve taught me.”
Training is hard, said Perks. When he first joined the fire department, he said it took 48 hours to learn how to fight a fire. Today it’s more than 200-some hours, in addition to Hazmat and other training.
“There’s a lot of dedication that goes into this and a lot of training,” Perks said. “I’m so proud of what Matthew has accomplished and the example he has set for the future of young members joining the company. And, myself, I thank you for taking on this project.”
Wachob expressed appreciation to those who helped him along the way and said he and his family are very proud of the completed project.
Others speaking at the ceremony included Matthew’s father, Scott, Clearfield County Commissioner John Sobel and Luthersburg United Methodist Church Pastor Kendra Balliet.