POMEROY, OH (WOWK) – A local firefighter celebrated a major milestone in his career this weekend surrounded by family and his fellow firefighters.

The Pomeroy Fire Department hosted a surprise luncheon in honor of Steve Hartenbach following their regularly scheduled business meeting. The fire department says this month marks Hartenbach’s 50th anniversary serving his community as a firefighter.

According to the PFD, Hartenbach joined the department Jan. 28, 1973, first serving under Fire Chief Charles Legar.

(Photo Courtesy: Pomeroy FD)

“Working with Steve has been an honor because he cares so much about the department, our members and the citizens of our community,” says Pomeroy Fire Chief Derek Miller. “He’s been a guy who has always demonstrated a commitment to service, professionalism and integrity. I am proud to say that I’ve served alongside someone who has given so much time to help others in their time of need.”

The fire department members, ladies’ auxiliary, and friends along with Hartenbach’s wife Pam, daughter Kaitlynn, and granddaughter Zoiee, joined in the celebration. He was presented with a plaque, inscribed pocket watch and tie bar to recognize his 50 years of service, integrity and commitment to the department and to the community, the PFD says.