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A family firefighting tradition continues in Youngstown

Sat, Feb 13th 2016 07:00 am
Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Scott Muller
Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Scott Muller

YVFC holds 105th annual Installation this evening

By Colin Campbell

Special to the Sentinel

Volunteer firefighting is an honored tradition in the Muller family of Youngstown. Currently, five members of the family are members of the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co., and one is the new fire chief.

On Dec. 6, 2015, at YVFC's annual Meeting and Officer Elections, long-time Youngstown resident Scott Muller, 52, was elected as the new chief, effective Jan. 1. Muller takes over for Eric Wieland who served as chief for the previous five years.

Muller has been a member of the company for 34 years, joining at the age of 18. Having previously served as a fire captain, second assistant chief and most recently, first assistant, chief Muller is no stranger to leadership.

In fact, his father, Brian Muller, has been an active member of the company for 55 years and is a well-known and highly respected former chief himself. When asked why he joined the fire company, Scott said, without hesitation, "To follow my father."

Continuing the family tradition, Scott's younger brother, Todd Muller, has been a YVFC member for 31 years and currently serves as the company's truck captain. Scott's niece, Emily Muller, and nephew, Brian Muller, are also members. Emily is currently training as an emergency medical technician, and young Brian has recently been elected president of YVFC's Fire Explorer Program.

Patriarch Brian said he is "quite proud" of his son's election as chief, as well as his family's long tradition of serving the Youngstown community with the fire company. Just his and his two sons' combined service adds up to 120 years. He was also quick to add it is important to remember the fire company members' wives, husbands or significant others.

"Everyone forgets about them, but they put up with what we do," he said, and noted they are just as much a part of the fire company as the members themselves.

In 34 years of serving the community with YVFC, Scott has accumulated many experiences and memories. Among his best memories is the fun had by all at the Youngstown Firemen's Field Days and the Labor Day Parade. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond its control, the fire company has not been able to have the Field Days in recent years.

Other memories and experiences include responding to fires and other emergencies in the Youngstown community, such as the large fire at the old Simons house on Lower River Road in 1983, as well as the roof fire at the French Castle of Old Fort Niagara on the evening of Aug. 31, 1991. At that incident, Scott said he remembered fighting the fire at the top of a ladder with hose line in hand, looking down and seeing the firefighter responsible for spotting him and supporting the ladder was nowhere to be seen.

Perhaps it is this personal experience that influenced his response when asked what his most important goal as the new chief was. He simply said, "To keep the community safe, and to keep this fire company well-trained to do so."

Another goal he said is important is the acquisition of a new fire engine with modern firefighting technology to replace one of the company's aging front line engines.

On Feb. 13, at the company's 105th annual installation dinner dance, Muller will be recognized along with new 1st Assistant Chief Greg Quarantillo, new 2nd Assistant Chief Tim Eagan and new 3rd Assistant Chief Eric Wieland.

The Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. is currently accepting new members and encourages those Youngstown residents who may be interested to stop by the firehall at 625 3rd St., or call 716-745-3324. Drill nights are every Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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