BELOIT – A new chief will be leading the village's Fire Department.
Gage Schreckengost recently was appointed chief of the Beloit Fire Department. Chief Daren Schaefer, who held the position for four years, died in December.
Schreckengost, 24, started working for the department in 2014. The Beloit native played baseball in Sebring while he was growing up. Schreckengost said from a young age he admired how Sebring's fire department was involved in many different community events and attended firework displays in the village.
"(The fire department) was always a big influence in their community, so I always saw that and had an enjoyment for the fire service," he said.
His cousin, Larry Barnett, previously served as Beloit's fire chief.
In his eight years with the department, Schreckengost has held several roles, including assistant fire chief and acting fire chief.
In his new post, Schreckengost takes the lead when he is present on the scene of a fire. He also is in charge of the department's personnel and responsible for ensuring fire reports are completed and submitted to the state.
Schreckengost estimated the Fire Department at 25 members.
He said he feels "honored" to be able to serve as fire chief.
"I'm definitely excited about the opportunity to do it and serve my community and just try to make a difference," he said.
Beloit Mayor Eric Augustein, in an email, commended Schreckengost for the work he has done as assistant fire chief and acting fire chief.
"He has the respect of the Fire Department employees, Village Council and myself," Augustein said.
Reach Paige at 330-580-8577 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @paigembenn.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: New fire chief named in Beloit