50 YEAR MEMBERS
Throughout the 100 years of the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department, only 12 men have reached 50 years or more of active service.
Please click on their photos to read more about them and their valuable contributions to our department.
Ervin F (Mike) Weber
Ervin (Mike) Weber was a member of the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department for 64 years. Mike held many firematic and administrative positions in the fire department; the most notable was the position of Chief for 26 years.
Firematically or administratively, Mike was a key player whether designing a truck or a building. In 1947, he personally build in his garage the first modern tank wagon for the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department, one of the first in the area. In 1947, Mike organized a seven engine relay from Cayuga Creek to the Raymond Weil property on Broadway, which has been documented in many firefighting articles.
Mike was also key in the building of the original fire hall next to the present Station #1 and also in the building of Station #1 and a hall which was later added on.
Administrative duties saw Mike holding the position as a Director on the Board of Directors for many years. He was an organizer and the first president of the Town Line Benevolent Association. Mike was also a former director of the Erie County Chief's Association and Erie County Firemen's Association. Mike helped form the mutual aid system, the Lancaster FIre Council and the Town Line Fire Protection District in both the towns of Alden and Lancaster.
Mike lived on Broadway near Station #1 and, with his wife, raised two children. Norm followed in his dad's footsteps and served as chief of the department for many years. Norm's son, Michael, also joined the fire department and has since pursued a career as a professional firefighter in Georgia.
Paul Stephan joined the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department on December 5, 1930 andheld both firematic and administrative positions of Chief, LIeutenant, Master Mechanic, Captain and Director on the Board of Directors. Paul served on every building committee and attended the first Chief's School held at Old Forge. He was a member of the Lancaster Fire Council, the New York State Chief's Association, Erie County Fire Association, and was a life member of the Fire Chief's Mutual Aid Association. He was also on the committee to organize the Town Line Benevolent Association.
Paul was well respected for his dedication to the community and the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department and Benevolent Association. He lived on Broadway with his wife Elsie and three children.
Robert Stoldt joined the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department in the fall of 1935 and exhibited his leadership in holding many firematic and administrative positions. He held the office of secretary for six years and in 1960 served as President. Throughout his career, any legal matters were referred to Bob. He was appointed to the Legal Committee and also the Law Committee of the Lancaster Fire Council where he was a very active member. Bob was also one of the organizers of the Town Line Benevolent Association and served as a Director, Vice President, and President of the Association.
Bob joined the Erie County Fireman's Association, Western New York Firemen's Association, Firemen's Association of the State of New York and the Erie County Fire Police Association. Bob was also a leader in the Boy Scout troop in the late 1930s and worked to build the picnic grounds on Town Line Road.
The Town Line area was Bob's home for his entire life. Along with his wife Beatrice, Bob raised a family of two boys and lived on Two Rod Road.
Chester Zamiera was a very active fireman with the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department. Chet held many administrative positions including Treasurer from 1957 to 1959. Chet also held the firematic office of Assistant Master Mechanic and helped build the Chevy tanker in the early 1950s. He also helped build the picnic grounds and made it into one of the finest in Erie County. Chet was known as the handyman in the 1960s and 1960s. If something was broken or needed welding, Chet did an excellent job in repairing it.
Chet was a member and delegate to the Erie County Fireman's Association, Southwestern Firemen's Association and the Erie County Fire Police Association. He was also an organizer of the Town Line Benevolent Association and held the position of Sergeant at Arms. Chet was also a member of the Lancaster Fire Council.
Chet also found the time to raise a family of three daughters with his wife Barbara at their home on Broadway, just next door to our current Station #1.
Clayton Zielger was obligated in the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department in 1939 and held positions in both firematic and administrative offices. He served as Chief and Assistant Chief and was also a Director on the Board of Directors. Clayton was also one of the charter members of the Town Line Benevolent Association.
Clayton was very active in building of the stations and his knowledge in the construction field helped tremendously when the final plans of these buildings were ready for construction.
Clayton was the fire inspector for the Town Of Alden and along with his wife Betty raised two daughters at their home on Town Line Road.
Robert G. Mueller
Robert G. Mueller joined the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department on May 1, 1941 and held the administrative positions of Vice President, Secretary and Sergeant at Arms. Firematically, Bob was a member of the fire police and held the position of Fire Police Sergeant.
Bob was a charter member of the Erie County Fire Police Association as well as a charter member of the Town Line Benevolent Association.
Bob, along with his wife Dorothea lived on Broadway near Station #1 and raised two sons. One son, Robert L. Mueller, is also a member of the department and recently celebrated 50 years of service holding many firematic and administrative positions.
Raymond Paschke joined the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department in April of 1950. Ray was an active firefighter from the start participating in all of the fundraising activities throughout his time in the department such as the annual picnic, working bingo and many other activities.
Beside his participation in fundraising, Ray was also served in many offices in both the fire department and benevolent association. Ray was Sergeant at Arms from 1984 to 1988, Fire Depatment Joint Board Trustee from 1994 to 1996 and 2001 to 2005 as well as serving on the Service Awards committee from 1993 to 1995.
Ray was also a charter member of the Town Line Benevolent Association where he served as a Joint Board Trustee from 1997 to 2000 and from 2006 to 2009.
Ray served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1952-1954, including 15 months in Korea. He was attached to the 507th Signal Service Company and was honorably discharged on 2 July 1954 with the rank of Corporal. For his Korean War Service, Mr. Paschke was awarded: National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal w/2 Service Stars, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and the United Nations Service Medal. Shortly before his passing in November of 2017, Ray was recognized for his service by Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight with a trip to Washington DC to view the war memorials.
Together with his wife Beatrice, Ray raised two daughters and lived in Lancaster
John (Jack) Wild joined the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department in August of 1950. During this time, Jack held the positions of President and Director and was the Financial Secretary for over 10 years. Jack was awarded the Firefighter of the Year Award in 1969 for his exemplary service.
Jack was also a charter member of the Town Line Benevolent Association where he served as a Trustee and Financial Secretary.
Jack and his wife, Claire, raised 4 children in their home on Town Line Road. Jack also has 14 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Jack's grandson, Wilson, followed in his grandfather's footsteps joining the Town Line Explorer Post at 14 and becoming a firefighter at 18. Wilson then went on to become the Chief with the Cowelsville Fire Department where he is still a member.
Joseph Trzybinski joined the Town Line Fire Department in January, 1954. Originally from Arcade, NY, Joe was a resident of Alden, NY for most of his adult life.
Joe was able to reminisce about major calls like the 1965 Lancaster Country Club fire, the 1969 Weil, the infamous 1977 blizzard, and the 1972 Town Line hotel fire with the newer members of our department. Of course, he could tell his own brand of tales about our long-forgotten bingo games and our much celebrated annual picnics, parades, and anniversaries. Some believe that if properly prodded Joe might even reveal the ingredients of the legendary clam chowder.
Joe remembered all of these things fondly, but what he cherished most is the camaraderie with all the firefighters. He considered each and every member to be his family.
In addition to being a TLFD member, Joe was a Pine Hill Concrete employee where he was a special heavy equipment operator. He retired from there in 1987. Joe was also a constituent of the few and the proud, The United States Marines and served in the pacific theater Hawaii Guam Occupation of Japan in 1944-45 in the rank of PFC. The Marines are known for ‘getting the job done” and Joe is the epitome of this analogy.
During his fifty year relationship with TLFD, Joe served as Chief in 1968 and was Fireman of the Year in 1987. He served on the both the joint board and was a Director on the Board of Directors during his 50 year milestone. He has also held the positions of pump operator, master mechanic, assistant mechanic, lieutenant, communications officer, assistant chief and the honorable position of chaplain. Joe was known for his quiet and observational demeanor and is valued for being the “Go to Guy”. Joe was the true spirit of volunteerism, never needing to be in the forefront, but preferring to perform silently in the shadows. Joe personified the quotation “It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit”. Even though he is a man of few words Joe is treasured for his subtle ability to influence people to think outside the box.
Joe was married to his wife Betty for over 60 years, whom he met at a dance at the Town Line Fire Hall. In 1959 Betty and Joe chose Alden as their hometown and built a home on Cary Road. Betty is a member of the Town Line Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. Betty and Joe were diligent stewards in upholding the reputation of the Town Line Fire Department. They are the proud parents of one son.
Norman E. Weber
The Webers are to Town Line Fire Department, what smoke is to fire. Where there is one, there is the other. Norman E. Weber is from the founding families of the Town Line Fire Department. The Weber name is synonymous with TLFD and goes back to 1936 when Mike Weber, Norm’s father, served as chief for an unprecedented 26 years. It is rumored that Norm’s crib was the front seat of a fire truck.
Norm was a member of the army engineers stationed primarily in Germany and Korea. This provided him with a strong foundation to take his natural place in the fire service. Early on in his military training, he developed a myriad of skills; steady nerves, physical strength, team spirit and, razor sharp wit to name a few. All of these are valuable prerequisites for being successful in the fire service. He is known for his innovative thinking, commitment to safety, and endless dedication towards providing effective training. Norm is known for many things but, most notably for always having a story to fit any and every occasion. His “Let me tell you a story” are some of the most dreaded words in the English language.
Throughout his membership in TLFD, Norm has always chosen to be proactive in his involvement in all aspects of the organization. He has been an advisor to the Explorers, and has participated on or headed endless committees. In addition to this he has held every administrative position including lieutenant, captain, mechanic, training officer, and assistant chief. Norm is the quintessential, “Jack of all Trades”.
In addition to chairing the committee for the twin engines purchase in 1999, he chaired the committee for the station one expansion, wherein he was honored by having the Training Room dedicated to him. He most recently was on the committee to purchase the new Metz, Truck-6.
As Norm celebrated 50 years of service, he was leading the department as Chief. In this tenure he has oversaw the publishing of a monthly newsletter, production of the fire department website, upgrading the computer system to state of the art and recognizing the importance of technology in the fire service.
Lancaster was the place Norm, and his wife Susanne, called home. They lived on Town Line Road for over 40 years, and there they raised two sons, Norman and Michael, and one daughter Heidi. Norm and Michael went on to continue the Weber firefighting legacy by becoming career firefighters and officers in Atlanta, Georgia.
Robert L. Mueller
Robert joined the Town Line Fire Department in 1965. During his time in the department, Bob has held a plethora of positions including:
1973 - Lieutenant
1974 - Captain
First Aid Captain - 1975 to 1976
Fire Police Captain - 1983 to present
Vice President - 1979 to 1980
President - 1980 to 1985
Director - 1986 to 1988
Chaplain - 1987 to present
Financial Secretary - 1994 to 2012
Joint Board Director - 2006 to 2012
Treasurer - 2012 to present
Bob has also been an integral part of the Memorial Day committee for over 25 years, which is still chairs. Bob was also Bingo Team Leader for over 5 years, a Burn Center Rep for Erie County for many years, and Member of the Erie County Fire Advisory Board for over 10 years including 3 years as Chairman and 5 years as Secretary.
Additionally, Bob has been one of our top responders for the past several years, responding to more than 400 alarms per year.
The officers and members of the Town Line Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank Bob for his continued service and dedication. May he be an inspiration to future generations of this department.