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Parker names city's Citizen of theYear

| Saturday, April 12, 2014, 1:16 a.m.

Parker Fire Chief Richard Amsler has been named the city's Citizen of the Year.

Amsler, 46, was one of six candidates for the award.

“I was a little bit shocked — I didn't think I was doing anything special,” Amsler said. “My family's always been involved in the community. That's the way I was brought up, that you're supposed to help the community.”

He was chosen because of his decades of service to the city of Parker, Mayor William McCall said.

Amsler received a signed proclamation of his title from the state House of Representatives and Senate, state Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion, and state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, on March 29.

“I'm proud to have it,” he said.

Amsler, who is married with three children, has been a member of Parker's Volunteer Fire Department since he was 16, has served on city council and is a member of Butler County's Team 300 water rescue. He works for Joy Manufacturing in Franklin.

McCall noted that Amsler continues to help others despite having suffered a back injury.

“The guy gives everything he's got,” McCall said.

Amsler credits his family for their understanding about the time he must spend away from home in his various roles.

Citizen of the Year recommendations were submitted to the mayor by residents. Amsler said he has no idea who submitted his name but guesses that it may have come from one of the people who needed his help being plowed out of their driveways during the winter.

“I don't mind plowing. It just takes minutes to do, and I'd rather plow out a driveway than have to go out and perform CPR because they tried to shovel their way out,” he said.

When he's not at work and isn't fighting fires or rescuing people, Amsler likes to spend time hitting targets as a competitive shooter.

But promoting volunteerism is always on his mind.

He frequently visits area schools teaching fire prevention and general safety. He tries to educate others about the importance of volunteerism and has encouraged about 20 high school students to become junior firefighters.

Amsler would like to see more people step up to help in the community.

“We raise much better children when they get involved,” he said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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