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Pa. borough hires EMS chief

Howard R. "Butch" Leonhard Jr. had been serving as acting chief since 2012, and was hired permanently

Lauren Cappuccio
Public Opinion

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Howard R. "Butch" Leonhard Jr., who had been serving as the acting Emergency Services Chief for Chambersburg Fire Department since Aug. 5, was hired permanently Monday evening

Leonhard has served as assistant chief since October 2012, and will be replacing former chief William FitzGerald, who resigned.

One other individual applied for the position that was listed internally, said Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill, but he said Leonhard had the best qualifications.

"I highly recommend that Chief Leonhard act as the new permanent emergency services chief," Stonehill said.

Council President Allen Coffman noted that at FitzGerald's retirement party, the former chief had ceremoniously passed off his brass to him.

"He didn't look at him coming on as an assistant chief, he looked at someone who would follow him after he was gone," Coffman said.

Leonhard began his career in Middletown in 1977. He served as assistant fire chief with the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in Maryland. He also has 12 years active duty with the U.S. Navy and 11 years with the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

"I look forward to continuing to serve the borough of Chambersburg," he said. "It has been a four decade endeavor to get to this position."

He said that with his new title, he would like to continue the efforts the department is always working on, but said he has some ideas for the future.

"I have some ideas, but it won't all come at once," Leonhard said. "I want to get my feet wet first."


©2014 the Public Opinion (Chambersburg, Pa.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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