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Fire Dept. announces new chief, command staff

April 21, 2016
Westfield Republican

The Fire Department of Westfield welcomed a new fire chief and command staff April 4.

Jerry Ruch, a 28-year veteran of firefighting, is the new fire chief for the department. Chief Ruch will be assisted by 17-year veteran firefighter Everett Reardon who will assume the duties of first assistant chief, and 20-year veteran firefighter Marsha Holland who is now the second assistant chief.

Chief Ruch previously served the department as fire chief from 2003 through 2005. He has also previously served as the first and second assistant chief of the department. He has also held the rank of Lieutenant and Captain for Citizen Hose Company #1. Chief Ruch is a qualified interior firefighter, a previous department safety officer, and is a member of the Past Chief's Association. Chief Ruch has been an emergency medical technician (EMT) for the past 25 years. Chief Ruch has been a town of Westfield resident his entire life. He is married, and has three children.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
From left to right: Clifford Brown, past fire chief and 48 year member of Citizen Hose Company #1, administers the oath of office to Fire Chief Jerry Ruch, First Assistant Chief Everett Reardon and Second Assistant Chief Marsha Holland. At right is outgoing Fire Chief William Bills.

First Assistant Chief Everett Reardon has been a member of the Westfield Fire Department since 1998. Reardon has previously held the rank of lieutenant and captain of the Hook and Ladder Company, as well as the department's rescue squad. First Assistant Chief Reardon has been an Emergency Medical Technician since 2000.

Second Assistant Chief Marsha Holland joined the Fire Department of Westfield in January of 1996. Second Assistant Chief Holland is an interior firefighter who has held the positions of lieutenant and captain of the Rescue Squad, secretary and captain of the Cascade Hose Company, department secretary for the past 10 years, and Explorer Advisor from 1996 to 2004. Second Assistant Chief Holland has completed training in a number of fire courses including Fire Officer, Fire Behavior and Arson Awareness, Firefighter Safety and Survival, Essentials of Firemanship, mask confidence, and the required Incident Command courses required for a chief officer. Holland has become a New York State Certified First Responder and then upgraded to a Basic Emergency Medical Technician, of which she is currently recertifying. Holland is the current treasurer for the Chautauqua County Fire Chief's Association, Vice President for Chautauqua County in the Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen, a member of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, a member of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York and vice-chair of its Fire Prevention and Life Safety Committee. Holland became a nationally-certified Fire Prevention and Life Safety Educator, and has raised funds for the past three years to send Westfield School's Pre-K through fourth grade students to the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village. Second Assistant Chief Holland has been a Westfield resident since 1981. Holland is married and has four children. She worked for Chautauqua County government for 33 years, retiring in September of 2014. Holland's husband Lyle is also a member of the Fire Department of Westfield.

Open house set for Saturday

On Saturday, April 23, the public is invited to an open house at the Westfield Fire Department on Clinton Street in the Village of Westfield from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fire department personnel will be on duty to provide tours of the fire hall and the fire department trucks. There will also be displays of different equipment and tools used by firefighting personnel. During the open house, members of the fire department will demonstrate for the public various scenarios they encounter such as a vehicle extraction.

Refreshments will be served, and there will be other activities available such as a fire extinguisher simulator.

Chief Jerry Ruch of the Westfield Fire Department encourages the public to stop by the Fire Hall to meet the volunteers from the department and view the equipment used to protect residents and visitors in the Village and Town of Westfield. The Fire Department of Westfield is also currently recruiting for volunteer firefighters and rescue squad personnel. Department personnel will be on hand to answer any questions for those who may be interested in serving their community as a volunteer firefighter.



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