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Monroeville firefighter of the year 'loves what he does'

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:50 PM

MONROEVILLE -  Linda Wangler gets a "double whammy" when the sirens sound for the Huron River Joint Fire District. Her husband Don and their son, Darren, are both volunteer firefighters.

"I'm very proud of them. Of course I get anxious when I hear it's a big fire," Linda said.

The Monroeville woman has been experiencing that anxiousness for a quarter of a century. Don, who joined the department in 1982, has been named the firefighter of the year by his peers.

He became a lieutenant in 1989 and was promoted to captain about 10 years ago.

"I think he's a great firefighter. He's always there for us," fire chief Ronald Stang said.

Don Wangler is active in the department fundraisers, which happen three to four times each year.

"We're fortunate to have him as a firefighter. Anybody would be fortunate to have him," Stang said.

Wangler, who retired as machine operator from what is now Delphi about seven years ago, said he was shocked when he learned about the honor.

"Not expected at all," he added.

He has lived in Monroeville for the last 30 years. Before joining the area fire department, Wangler, 59, was on the fire brigade at New Departure, which later became Delphi.

He currently works part-time at Underground Utilities.

Wangler is modest about being named the firefighter of the year.

"I don't think it's elite," he said. "We're a family and we work together as a team."

For the Wanglers, the "family" feeling of the Huron River Joint Fire District is literal.

Don's son, Darren, joined the department seven years ago. The elder Wangler said his emergency responder work probably had "a little bit, but not much" of an influence on Darren becoming a firefighter.

Linda, Don's wife, said her husband enjoys being a part of the Huron River Joint Fire District.

"He loves what he does. He loves to be a fireman. Darren seems to also," she said.

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