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Fire warden watches over local area

By CAROL SONES SHETLER - | Sep 10, 2020

Both Michelle and Randy McCauley of Muncy hold offices in Muncy Township Fire Company in addition to Randy’s position as the area’s Fire Warden. CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary

PENNSDALE – Togetherness in volunteering keeps this Muncy couple on the move. In 1992, Randy and Michelle McCauley came to Muncy where the family has embedded themselves in the community.

Randy joined the local fire company as a teenager in his native Blossburg. He has since accumulated 38 years in fire fighting with his current status being First Assistant Chief with Muncy Township Fire Company #23 at Pennsdale.

Additionally, for the past four years, he has served as Fire Warden in the Muncy area. “We have been fortunate that woodland and grass fires have not happened lately. The most common blazes occur in outdoor burn barrels. Even though we’ve had a dry season, we’ve only had one reported this spring,” Randy said.

A warden’s job comes by state appointment with training under PA-130, learning how to determine causes of fires. Here, Randy is connected with the forestry service in the district west to Loyalsock.

A brush truck equipped with a 300-gallon tank is the first mode of defense. “It can get into small areas where larger tanker trucks are unable to go. The truck, along with the use of axes and brush rakes, cuts a fire line,” he said.2

If needed, wardens are available to be called out of the area to assistance others. Should containment efforts fail, tanker planes are dispensed from Wilkes-Barre.

The public may take advantage of opportunities to meet fire personnel in a social atmosphere with the sponsorship of an annual ‘National Night Out.’ There brochures covering fire safety tips are given out, pencils for the kids, and an appearance by Smokey the Bear. Randy said that, “It’s a good time for children to become accustomed to seeing fireman wearing gear so as not to be as fearful in the event of a fire.”

Randy served a stint in the Army and recently retired for the National Guard. After coming to Muncy as a diesel mechanic with the former McCormick Dray Lines, he currently works out of LaPorte for PennDot.

Michelle McCauley, a Mansfield native, is also a member of the Pennsdale Fire Company certified as an EMT. She is employed in the cancer unit at UPMC, Williamsport.