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Port Jervis Fire Department Co-Grand Marshal grateful to serve his community

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Randall “Randy” Dana Aber’s wife Tammy (a former firefighter herself) was an auxiliary member of Port Jervis Fire Department’s Howard Wheat Engine Co. No. 4 and her brother a fireman at the time Aber, then age 30, chose to join Engine #4 in 1990. 

Aber comes from a long line of family firefighters, on both his side and his wife’s. They include his wife, his nephew and Captain of Engine 2 Danny VanKleeck, the late PJFD Chief Douglas Moore and many of Moore’s current family members, Terry Babcock, George Padgett, and others, along with friends and neighbors.

Aber, a lifelong Port Jervis resident, graduated from PJHS in 1981, started working for his current employer two days after graduation, and is a sanitizer with Kolmar still today. He has always been able to find time to ft in the many requirements of being a volunteer firefighter between his work and family time.

Married to Tammy for 41-years, the couple has three daughters, two grandsons, and three granddaughters. Aber is always grateful for the support of each member of his family for the service he is able to provide.

Having been a firefighter for 34-years, Aber sees today’s volume of required schooling as more difficult to fit in, but important to complete. He advises anyone planning to be a firefighter to stay in school and get all the schooling and training possible before becoming a firefighter.

Some of the longtime firefighters he served with in Hose Co. #4 years ago are the late Jim Gill, Barry Longwell, Lester King, and longtime current members Jeff Ewing, Henry Dunn, Stan Siegel, and many others.

Some of the calls Aber recalls responding to over his decades of firefighting with PJFD, including as a longtime fire policeman with Port Jervis Fire Police and as a past dive team member, are Drew Methodist Church, Station 9, Buffalo Bill’s, Sam & Mabel’s, Colonial Inn, Good Friends, In My closet, and many others. Besides being a firefighter, Aber was a member of Fowler Rescue and Salvage Co. #3 where he served as 1st Lt., 2nd Lt., and with the swift water rescue team. He remains a member of the PJFD Fire Police.

What he enjoys most about being a firefighter in his hometown is helping his community, and the joy of seeing people safe and happy. Aber plans to remain an active PJFD firefighter for as long as he can.

“As long as the good Lord is willing,” he said.

This Parade Day, Co-Grand Marshal Aber is especially honored and feels much gratitude to have been asked to serve as one of two Grand Marshals with his longtime friend, co-worker, and fellow firefighter Jeff Ewing. 

“It’s an honor to have been considered for this,” Aber said.  

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SHARON SIEGELSenior Correspondent

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