Kidron names new fire chief

Pictured at left, Jonathan Peters is the new fire chief at Kidron Volunteer Fire Department and Kent Neuenschwander is the new assistant chief. During the coronavirus pandemic, retired Chief Doug Reeder hands the Chief’s Pin to new Chief Jonathan Peters from a safe distance and wearing gloves April 6 at the station in Kidron.  (PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KIDRON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT)

KIDRON For only the fourth time in the almost 70-year history of the Kidron Volunteer Fire Department, members watched April 6 as the “Chief’s Pin” was handed to a new chief.

Former captain Jonathan Peters is the new chief of the fire department and former captain Kent Neuenschwander is assistant chief. Peters, who owns Peters Roofing and is married with two daughters, brings nearly 24 years of experience to the position. A graduate of Rock of Ages School, Peters began volunteering for KVFD when he was 19 years old.

“I started out because as a kid I wanted to be a firefighter,” he said. “It looked exciting. I liked the fact of being able to help out. I saw the fire department going out on calls and I always wanted to be a part of that. Once you start, it’s in your blood now. It’s my family.”

Peters said he plans to keep moving forward in the same direction as Doug Reeder, who retired after 15 years as chief, and 35 years total.

Some of Reeder’s accomplishments include making advances in logistics and bringing the fire department up to date with methods and ideals. Reeder made training and equipment a priority and instilled confidence in members, according to KVFD’s Facebook page.

Assistant Chiefs Ron Taylor and Ted Elder are stepping back from leadership roles. Elder is retiring and Taylor will continue as a volunteer and will help with mentoring and training. Peters said former lieutenants Rodney Neuenschwander and Troy Shaum were promoted and join Ray Davies as captains of the department.

Before Peters and Reeder, Eddie Lehman first wore the Chief’s pin in 1951. John Sprunger, who owns the Kidron Auction, was the second chief for many years.

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