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Fallen New Tripoli Firefighters to Be Honored During National Memorial Service | WDIY Local News

New Tripoli firefighter Marvin Gruber (left) and Assistant Fire Chief Zachary Paris (right) died Dec. 7 while responding to a house fire in Schuylkill County Dec. 7, 2022.
Contributed photos
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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
New Tripoli firefighter Marvin Gruber (left) and Assistant Fire Chief Zachary Paris (right) died Dec. 7 while responding to a house fire in Schuylkill County Dec. 7, 2022.

Two Lehigh County firefighters who died in the line of duty late last year will be honored during a national memorial service this weekend.

Firefighter Marvin Gruber, 59, and Assistant Fire Chief Zachary Paris, 36, both of the New Tripoli Fire Company, will be honored during the 42nd National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, this year’s tribute will honor 144 firefighters – 79 who died in 2022, and 65 who perished in previous years.

The commemorations will include a candlelight service at 7:30 p.m. on May 6, and the memorial service at 10 a.m. on May 7 at the National Emergency Training Center.

Both events will also be livestreamed on the foundation website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is scheduled to address attendees during the memorial service.

The family of each fallen firefighter will be presented with an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, a badge, and a rose.

Gruber, Paris, and the other 142 firefighters will have their names engraved on a plaque, which will become part of the memorial.

The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Contributed photo
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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

The two men perished while helping to fight a house fire in West Penn Township, Schuylkill County on Dec. 7, 2022.

According to police, Gruber and Paris became trapped in the house and several mayday calls were issued. They were pulled from the blaze and taken to St. Luke’s Hospital Miners Campus in Coaldale, where they were pronounced dead.

A public memorial service for the two firefighters was held on December 17 at Northwestern Lehigh Middle School.

Gruber began volunteer firefighting in the late 1980s and served with the Community Fire Company of New Tripoli beginning in 2020.

He worked at Northampton Community College for 22 years the last 15 of which as the assistant chief of public safety. He also served as assistant chief o the former Northwestern Ambulance Corps.

Paris began volunteering as a junior firefighter with Blandon Fire Company at the age of 15. He joined New Tripoli Fire Company in 2010 as a volunteer firefighter, working his way up to assistant chief.

He also served as a career firefighter and EMT with the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services in Maryland, serving at both the Green Valley Fire Station and New Tripoli since September 2022.

(Original air-date: 5/4/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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