A member of the Bass Lake Volunteer Fire Department remembers when training used to be the “on the job.”
A few years have passed for 75-year-old Roger Prybel – who has served for 50 years with the Bass Lake volunteers. He was recently honored for his longevity in service by the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association in Indianapolis.
Prybel says he showed an early interest in firefighting – living behind the fire station as a child.
“Whenever the siren would go off, you know, there would be a call, and they’d set the siren off,” says Prybel. “I’d run over there just to see what was going on. That’s how I got started, and next thing you know, I was hanging on the trucks.”
Prybel was honored at a dinner and had the opportunity for a photograph with Governor Mike Pence.
He says the fun, challenges, and service to the community have kept him coming back over the years.
Out of all the fires he has spent time battling, Prybel says there are a few that stand out to him. He says the one that influenced him the most was the fire at the Riviera Club. He says the department lost its Fire Chief in that incident.
Prybel says his pace of work has slowed a bit.
“I’m just going to hang on as long as I can,” says Prybel. “That’s what I’m aiming for. You know, I’ll be around as long as a I can and I’ll help the young guys and do whatever I can.”
Prybel says his pace of work has slowed a bit, but says he still intends to help with fundraisers and other activities.
The Bass Lake Volunteer Fire Department says they will hold a dinner for Prybel next month at the station.