Northampton Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY AL RECKER Newly promoted Northampton Fire Department personnel, Captain Ryan Shelly and Assistant Fire Chief Keith Knoblach, take the oath of office at Thursday's borough council meeting. Mayor Thomad D. Reenock administered the oath. PRESS PHOTO BY AL RECKER Newly promoted Northampton Fire Department personnel, Captain Ryan Shelly and Assistant Fire Chief Keith Knoblach, take the oath of office at Thursday's borough council meeting. Mayor Thomad D. Reenock administered the oath.

Fire dept. appoints new officers

Thursday, January 24, 2013 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

The Northampton Fire Department recently filled two key posts in its ranks.

The department filled the positions of assistant fire chief and captain, effective immediately, at Thursday's meeting of borough council.

Council members said the appointments reflect that the young firefighters have trained and are now in line for leadership positions.

Keith Knoblach, 31, is the fire department's new assistant fire chief. Knoblach has been with the fire department for 15 years and has been involved in all facets of the fire department operations. He assumes the post held previously by Chris Greb, who resigned.

Ryan Shelly, 24, was promoted to captain, Knoblach's former position. Shelly has 10 years of experience with the fire department.

Wearing dark navy fire uniforms with gold stripes on the jacket sleeves signifying their rank, Knoblach and Shelly took their oaths of office as administered by Mayor Thomas Reenock.

Fire Chief Robert Solderich was present for the advancement ceremony for Knoblach and Shelly.

"It makes teaching worthwhile when you see what is produced at Northampton [Area] High School – real Konkrete Kids," said Councilman Ed Pany, a retired history teacher at the high school, who had Knoblach in his class.

"It's great to see young people are beginning to [find] a niche they can fill and go where old knees cannot go," Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski said.

The borough can be proud of its outstanding fire department, police department and ambulance corps, he said.

Council President John Yurish echoed the thoughts of his colleagues in congratulating the two newest fire department officers.