Ever since he was a teenager, Barry Bickel has had an affinity for volunteering.
He started helping out at the Pottstown Fire Department’s station as a teen.
Then, in 1967, he started responding to medical calls at Cetronia Ambulance Corps in South Whitehall.
Over the years, volunteers have come and gone. Now at 76, he’s still helping out.
Bickel of Whitehall Township was honored for his 50 years service on Monday afternoon with a surprise party at Cetronia’s headquarters. He is the longest-serving volunteer at the organization.
“There’s just something in me, I think it’s important for people to give back to their community,” Bickel said. “Volunteering is what I need to do.”
For the first 20 years of his tenure, Bickel was an emergency medical technician for Cetronia. He later worked in the station’s communications department and he currently volunteers about once a week for the billing department.
When Bickel wasn’t volunteering, he worked as a sound engineer for WHRP radio until 1976, and then he was an electronics technician for TuWay Communications until he retired in 1999.
Bickel was one of the founding members of Eastern Pennsylvania’s EMS Council, where he worked on improving communications between hospital emergency rooms and ambulances.
Bickel’s son Paul has long admired his dad’s commitment to serving his community. He said he has fond memories of going with his dad to the station to volunteer when he was young. Now he volunteers for his church with his family.
“He has always been a great example of volunteering, and a good example to all of us to serve the community and others,” Paul Bickel said.
While most of his service has been dedicated to emergency services, Barry Bickel also was a Boy Scout leader for 37 years and he volunteers for his church, Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship.
“Volunteering is something everyone should do for their community,” he…