Smithton Volunteer Fire Department names 'Member of the Century'
By William S. Zirkle
Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 4:57 p.m.
Charles “Bud” Seglowich has been named “Member of the Century” by the Smithton Volunteer Fire Department.
In a brief ceremony during last week's meeting of the fire department, fire Chief Joel Ribniscky made the announcement and presented a surprised Seglowich with a commemorative jacket and a plaque.
Ribniscky said Seglowich deserves the honor. “He's the kind of guy that stayed home from Kennywood and stayed in the community to protect the community. He and his family gave up a lot to protect this community all those years,” he said.
Seglowich has been a Smithton firefighter for over 44 years — a life member (20 years of service) twice over. He joined the department in February of 1969. He became captain in his second year and was made second assistant chief a couple of years later, Seglowich said.
He soon became first assistant chief and was named chief in 1980. He was chief until 1993. Seglowich said he also served as vice president for a while.
When he wasn't at the fire station, Seglowich worked at U.S. Steel, McKeesport, as a fire equipment inspector until the plant was closed.
Seglowich's wife Cindy, also a life member of the Smithton Fire Department, said honoring her husband as the fireman of the century is appropriate.
“I could always tell he cared about the community,” she said. He would often put the community before himself.
She said, “He would take his vacation at the same time as the (fire department's) street fairs so he could be there.”
Ribniscky, a Smithton fireman for 38 years, said he was trained by Seglowich.
Seglowich said over the years he never had to deal with a catastrophic event in the borough — an indication of just how well the Smithton Fire Department is trained, he quipped.
“He deserves a lot of pats on the back, he's done so much for this community and this fire department,” said Ribniscky. “Bud stands out, he's an awesome guy.”
William S. Zirkle is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-872-6800.
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