DALTON — Ron Stacknick started serving the community of Dalton in the fire department in 1979.
“I joined the Dalton Fire Company when I was 14 as a junior firefighter,” said Stacknick. “Five of my friends joined with me, which was the norm at the time. I am the only one left from that group and everyone else has left the area. I left the fire department to serve with the Army and became a firefighter in Colorado for a few years, but I came back to Dalton.”
He became an EMT at 16 – the youngest age you could be at that time.
His brother Donald “Doc” Stacknick Sr. is the fire chief and his nephew Donald “Doc” Stacknick Jr. is a lieutenant with the department.
“You do not see many second and third generations anymore,” said Stacnick.
Stacknick works at Dalton Lumber.
He recently was inducted as a lifetime member of the Dalton Fire Company.
In addition to calls within the borough, the fire company responds to calls in La Plume, West Abington, Glenburn and Waverly townships. They help other departments as needed and respond to calls on Route 6 and 11.
The company has 12 active responders that uses four pieces of apparatus including a tanker, pumper, ladder and brush truck. The fire department also has an ambulance.
Firefighters receive training in-house and at Bucks County Community College.
“People join when they are the age 14,” said Stacknick. “They stay a few years and then they go to college. They’re gone for four years and then start their careers. They don’t come back to the fire department.”
The Dalton Fire Company accepts junior firefighters at the age of 14 and currently has two.
Stacknick’s hobbies include hunting, fishing and dirt track racing.
“People think we are paid firefighters and we are not,” said Stacknick. “We have to respond wherever we are, and that can be at home or work and it can be taxing.
“People get older, pass away or leave the area. We only have 12 active responders. You are helping out your community being a volunteer firefighter. Family comes first and the fire department is second. Your life comes first.
“The fire department keeps me going. You have to love what you do or you would not be here. You can make a difference for someone.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for the Dalton Fire Company should stop by the station at 109 Turnpike Road or visit dfcfire.com and fill out an application.