NEWTON TWP. — Jeff LaCoe became a junior volunteer at the Newton-Ransom Volunteer Fire Company at age 16 in 1973.
He rose through the ranks, becoming a lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. He has been the fire chief for more than 20 years.
“My father Melvin LaCoe was a fire police captain,” said LaCoe. “My friends were into volunteering at the fire company and I wanted to do it. I wanted to help. I looked up to Harold Ames and Jim Richards, who have both passed away. They were both with the fire company. They taught me how to be a volunteer firefighter.”
LaCoe works for South Abington Township and is a volunteer firefighter for Chinchilla Fire Company.
His “sweetheart” is his girlfriend, Colleen Rubel. He has three children, Julie, Jamie and Jeffrey, and 3 grandchildren, Danika, Gianna and Trace.
In his free time, LaCoe enjoys hunting.
“I like to watch the deer, what they do and how they move,” he said.
LaCoe referred to fire fighting as “a brotherhood.”
The Newton-Ransom Volunteer Fire Company has between 20 and 25 firefighters to respond to calls in Newton and Ransom townships. They assist other departments as needed. They respond to many rural calls.
The fire department has six pieces of apparatus including a brush tanker, brush truck, three additional trucks and an ambulance. It covers 55 square miles, from the Clarks Summit State Hospital to the Susquehanna River.
The department purchased a new truck within the last year from Melville, N.Y. through fundraising and selling two of its old trucks.
Interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter for Newton-Ransom? Call fire chief Jeff LaCoe at 570-335-6627 or visit
nrvfc.com and fill out an application.