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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bethlehem Firefighter Honored For 37 years of Service

Paul Harvilla with Chief Robert Novatnack
Paul Harvilla was honored by Bethlehem City Council on June 17 for 37 years of dedicated service as a firefighter. In his career, he's been enveloped by fireballs caused by gas leaks and has suffered smoke inhalation while battling blazes. In a February fire, in which an Itaska Street woman woke up to find her home on fire, she made it to the roof, where Harvilla snapped his ankle while assisting in her rescue. A quiet man, the now retired firefighter just thanked everyone. He was given a standing ovation.

As he made his way out, Fire Chief Robert Novatnack caught up to him in the hallway. "I wish I had 100 more guys like him," the Chief said. "He came to work every day and did his job."

Harvilla, a 1972 graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School as well as Northampton Community College, explained that firefighters today receive more certifications and training than they did when he first started. "Years ago, the City would teach you," he explained.

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