Sue Kiesewetter reports:
A West Chester Township Fire Department lieutenant will use a $1,000 scholarship to defray the cost of an online program in fire administration and human resource management.
Lt. Ryan Berter, is the fourth recipient of the Fairfield Community Foundation’s Assistant Chief Paul McKendry Memorial Scholarship. He will use his scholarship at the American Military University where he will begin an online program in November.
The scholarship was established to honor former Fairfield Township Assistant Fire Chief Paul McKendry who died in February 2009. It is awarded to a Fairfield city or township firefighter or resident enrolled in a paramedic program, firefighter level II program or pursuing a degree in fire science or administration.
Berter qualified for the scholarship because he is a part-time captain with the Fairfield Township Fire Department.
“I spent a lot of time working for Paul and he set an example of excellence for all of us,’’ Berter said. “He always encouraged us to be the best we could and keep improving ourselves. I’m enrolling in a two-year, online program.”
A 1998 Fairfield High School graduatuate, Berter said his inspiration in going into firefighting came from his grandfather, Don Berter, a retired chief of the Fairfield Fire Department. Two of his uncles were also firefighters.
“My grandfather also personified the strong work ethic I try to exemplify every day both for my family and my community,” Berter said in his application.
“I would have to say that serving others is a family tradition…I enjoy knowing that I am trained to intervene in someone’s time of need and make a difference.”
Along with working for both fire departments, Berter is chairman of the Butler County Regional Hazardous Materials Team and a member of the Butler County All-Hazards Incident Management Team.
He also holds certifications as a hazardous materials technician, fire safety inspector, assistant fire instructor and incident commander.
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