Firefighter honored for dedication

2010-07-20T22:53:00Z 2010-07-20T23:03:34Z Firefighter honored for dedicationBy Greg Gross, Sentinel Reporter, July 21, 2010 The Sentinel

It may not have been the surprise that was hoped for, but Ivan Bretzman was still appreciative for the recognition he received Tuesday morning.

Bretzman, Dickinson Township fire chief, was honored for his 40 years of service as a Pennsylvania forest fire warden with a congratulatory sign that bears the news.

The sign, attached to a fire danger rating sign, is along Route 34 just south of Mt. Holly Springs. As part of his duties, Bretzman maintains the danger rating sign and changes it nearly every day.

"It's nice to be recognized," he said, but added that the work is all part of the job.

The plan was for Bretzman to be surprised with the sign addition Tuesday morning, said Rodney Lyon, the forest assistant manger with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

However, after Lyon put the sign up Monday, Bretzman drove past and noticed the added signage.

"It was to be a surprise for him, but it was a surprise for me," Lyon said.

The sign, Lyon said, is a key part in helping to prevent wildfires.

In a key location along a heavily traveled road, passersby can take note of the danger rating, he said.

Family tradition

The rating is set based on elements such as the temperature, relative humidity, past rain totals, wind and moisture in the area, Lyon said.

The rating not only advises those who see it on the probability of a fire, but also serves as an aid to firefighters should a wildfire occur. Crews can anticipate the expected fire behavior and how difficult it could be to control by the rating, Lyon added.

Most of the wildfires reported, he said, are the result of people burning debris.

Bretzman got his start in firefighting at the age of 8, when he was among a group of children who grabbed shovels and rushed to the scene of a wildfire and helped extinguish the blaze, he said.

That was in 1947.

Now 71, Bretzman has given 50 years of his life to the fire service. Before becoming township fire chief, he served as Mt. Holly Springs chief, he said.

Though a lot of time has passed since his first brush with fire, Bretzman is still eager to do his part.

Not even a 2008 fall from a ladder that caused his lung to collapse and broke three ribs, a few vertebrae and both halves of the pelvis bones could keep Bretzman away from the job for long.

"I update (the sign nearly) every morning," he said.

Shortly after that 1947 wildfire, Bretzman's father, Charles Bretzman, became a fire warden.

Ivan Bretzman's son, Greg Bretzman, is also active in firefighting. He's the assistant fire chief for Dickinson.

"(Firefighting is) kind of a family tradition," Ivan Bretzman said.

Copyright 2014 The Sentinel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. katherine
    Report Abuse
    katherine - July 21, 2010 2:44 pm
    i want ivan bretzman to know that he is all heart when it comes to helping others and doining his dudy, ivan had always been there for his town ang his fore firefighter as a family. people will miss him some day, he always had a happy face when on his way to fight fire or anything he can help. i cant say enough about ivan, he always geen a good man, he also helps people that need help. he goes out of his way to help anone. always katherine penner
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Follow The Sentinel

A Closer Look

Black Friday continues to get an earlier start in the Midstate

Black Friday continues to get an earlier start in the Midstate

In 2012, a handful of big box stores took that first leap — starting Black Friday a day early on Thanksgiving.

3 hours ago Photos

Photos

Related (0)

The fight vs. child pornography: Many resources needed to address growing fight in Midstate

The fight vs. child pornography: Many resources needed to address growing fight in Midstate

Before Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s Office established its Child Predator Unit, the office made about 19 child pornography arrests in a year.

November 16, 2014 6:00 am Related (0)

Row officers: Officials question, defend elected status of row officers

Row officers: Officials question, defend elected status of row officers

When Cumberland County Prothonotary David Buell runs for election every four years, he’s prepared to answer the burning question on every vote…

November 08, 2014 9:15 pm Related (3)

Tom vs. Tom: Voter turnout could decide governor race Tuesday

Tom vs. Tom: Voter turnout could decide governor race Tuesday

No Pennsylvania governor has been unseated in a re-election bid since the 1968 change to the state Constitution allowing the governor to seek …

November 02, 2014 12:00 am Photos

Photos

Related (1)

Scaring up a date: Residents question need to hold trick-or-treat on Thursdays

Scaring up a date: Residents question need to hold trick-or-treat on Thursdays

Leaving the council chambers in early September, Amy Lyman was convinced she had not a ghost of a chance to change trick-or-treat night in Shi…

October 26, 2014 7:00 am Related (4)

High marks: Midstate schools explore drug testing

High marks: Midstate schools explore drug testing

More than 1 in 5 high school seniors across Pennsylvania reported recently using marijuana in 2013, according to a state survey.

October 19, 2014 7:00 am Photos

Photos

Related (4)

Midstate Profiles

More Profiles

Midstate Profile: Carlisle man honored for life of military service

Midstate Profile: Carlisle man honored for life of military service

CARLISLE — When Guinness representatives and everyone at Market Cross Pub & Brewery raised their glasses Friday to salute Ken Chrosniak fo…

November 10, 2014 8:45 am Related (0)

Midstate Profile: Newville teen selected for Congress of Future Medical Leaders

Midstate Profile: Newville teen selected for Congress of Future Medical Leaders

NEWVILLE – While going through surgery is never fun, Jaret Petty certainly figured out how to embrace the silver lining: He discovered his pas…

November 02, 2014 9:19 pm Related (0)

Latest NASCAR News