HOWLAND - As one firefighter ended his career, another began his in Howland.
David McLain was sworn in as a full-time paramedic and firefighter at the regular trustee meeting last week after township officials recognized Kenny Laughlin, who served in the fire department for 43 years before retiring at the start of December.
"He has showed his ability to work with the team," fire Chief James Pantalone said.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
David McLain’s fiancee, Abby Wagoner, pins on his badge after he was sworn in as a full-time firefighter and paramedic in Howland.
For this reason, McLain was hired after working with the department for four years. He began as a volunteer in 2009, before being hired part-time in 2011. McLain has completed several trainings and medic school.
Laughlin began as a volunteer in 1970. He was hired full-time by the Howland department in 1987 and was active in various agencies. He helped to found the Trumbull County Arson Task Force, was president of the Ohio State Firefighters Association from 1991 to 1993, and also worked at a few police departments.
"He is a person who will give you the shirt off his back," Pantalone said.
Pantalone also said that Laughlin has worked under five of the six fire chiefs to have been in Howland.
"It started in 1970," Laughlin said, "it seems like it's been no time at all. I'm definitely going to miss it."