Firefighter recognized for 50 years of service

By Herald Staff

HUNTINGBURG — Ray Kissling has been with the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department for 50 years.

That achievement was recognized last week with an award from the city. Huntingburg Mayor Steve schwinghamer gave Kissling the plaque during Thursday’s Huntingburg Board of Public Works meeting.

“Presented to Ray Kissling,” the plaque read, “in recognition of 50 of selfless dedication and service to the Huntingburg Volunteer fire department and the city of Huntingburg and our community.”

Kissling, 77, accepted the honor with a modest, “Thank you.”

But its evident that Kissling, who serves as a captain, is an important part of the department.

He joined in 1971, after observing his boss at the time, Kenny Crider, serving as a firefighter and going out on runs. Crider owned a Shell station in the city. Kissling asked the fire chief at that time, Chick Carson, about joining the department, Kissling told The Herald in a previous interiew. He joined not too long after that conversation.

And he must have been an inspiration. His brother, Glen, joined the department, as did Kissling’s sons David and Roger. All four are still on the department’s roster.

Kissling and his wife, Janet, owned their own service station, Kissling Mobil Service, for years. Kissling has also worked for Mobil Oil as a distributor and later at Uebelhor Oil Company. He is now retired. The couple portrayed for more than 30 years the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Claus during the holiday season in Huntingburg.

“Somebody that spends 50 years with the city doing anything is pretty valuable,” Schwinghamer said, as the group at the public works meeting congratulated Kissling with a round of applause.

The public works board also:

• Approved a request to have a food truck on Fourth Street on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 8 and 9, as part of the Christmas Stroll. The truck, which is from Otwell, will offer breakfast and lunch, will not duplicate any of the offering already available on the street, sit in front of the former Overtime bar and serve toward the sidewalk.

• Heard that starting Nov. 1, the limb yard will be open for us from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Learned from Street Superintendent that leaf pickup has not yet started. He suggested that resident who have leaves take them to the limb yard. He said that the bags used to haul the leaves cannot be left there.

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