UPPER DUBLIN — For his service with the Fort Washington Fire Company No. 1 since 1990, Howard Schmuckler has been selected to receive the 2019 Outstanding Citizen Award as part of the Upper Dublin Medals Program Awards of Excellence.
For 25 years, he has chaired the department’s fire prevention committee, which organizes the annual Fire Prevention and Safety Expo to educate the community on being fire safe. Held the Monday that follows Fire Prevention Week in October on the campus surrounding the Upper Dublin Township Building, approximately 1,000 people attended last year's event. The 31st annual Fire Prevention and Safety Expo has been set for Oct. 14.
Included in the program are areas of injury prevention for people of all ages, as well as emergency preparedness awareness. Dozens of rescue and emergency responder squads from Southeastern Pennsylvania are invited to teach, demonstrate and involve families in prevention and rescue activities. There are simulated vehicle rescues, helicopter evacuations, K-9 demonstrations and a demonstration on extinguishing oven fires. Schmuckler noted that Montgomery County's Hazardous Materials Response Team and bomb squad, Temple University Hospital's burn center and Abington and Doylestown hospitals are among the expo's regular participants.
Schmuckler's fire prevention committee duties also include coordinating fire prevention assemblies at Upper Dublin School District’s four elementary schools.
He has served as a lieutenant with Fort Washington's fire police, served on the fire company's board of directors and was also on the membership and investigation committee, which conducts background check investigations on Fort Washington firefighter applicants.
Married with two children, he currently oversees the fire company's ledger as a member of the audit committee and serves on its social media/PR committee. The fire department's Facebook page has more than 4,200 likes and 4,400 followers. An April 10 post congratulated Schmuckler: "Howard’s unwavering dedication to fire prevention, our annual expo and the Upper Dublin community is truly remarkable. Congratulations Howard! Well deserved!"
Schmuckler, 67, who retired two years ago — last working as an auditor for the United States Department of Defense — estimated that he dedicates 15 hours each week to fire department business.
"The fire company keeps me pretty busy, and doing stuff around the house," he said. "I like watching sports on television — Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Flyers, Penn State ..."
Schmuckler's daughter, Laura, will be presenting the award to him during the 35th annual Upper Dublin Medals Ceremony May 15 at the Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club, 511 Dreshertown Road. A cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m., with the awards at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are $25 per person in advance and $30, in cash or check, at the door. For more information, visit udefoundation.org.
The event is presented by Upper Dublin Township, the Upper Dublin School District, the Fort Washington Business Alliance and the Upper Dublin Education Foundation, which benefits from event proceeds.