John and Kathi Monastero love volunteering for the community and love volunteering together as husband and wife at Norriton Fire Engine Company.
John was always interested in firefighting and joined in June of 1980, 42 years ago this June. John and Kathi actually met through Norriton Fire Engine Company because some of their closest friends are members there. Later that weekend after meeting John, Kathi said she had a minor car accident and he came to help pull her car out of a field. “Long story short, he was my knight in shining armor,” she said.
This April, John and Kathi will celebrate 38 years of marriage. They have three daughters and once they were old enough to take care of themselves, Kathi decided to join Norriton Fire Engine Company too. This May, Kathi has been a member for 20 years. She currently serves as a safety officer. If needed, she can also serve as the accountability person or an exterior firefighter.
“When I had taken classes Firefighter I, Firefighter II and Vehicle Rescue Training, John was always there to push me or congratulate me,” said Kathi. “He always had my back and I loved that he stood by me no matter what.”
Meanwhile, John is currently the Assistant Chief Engineer, which involves maintaining the apparatus and equipment, as well as driving and operating the apparatus on calls.
John says there are too many memories volunteering with Kathi to pick out any favorites but he said, “When you do things together, it makes you even closer.”
When they go on calls, they are not always together because they have different responsibilities, but both say they work well together, just like at home.
“Sometimes I think she is the reason that keeps me volunteering,” said John. “I am extremely proud of all her accomplishments.”
In addition to volunteering together, John and Kathi love the community aspect of volunteering and putting a smile on someone’s face.
“When helping with the Santa Run at Christmastime, I love seeing the children, youngest to oldest, have that special smile on their faces,” said Kathi.
There are many qualities about her husband John that make him a great volunteer. “He is very patient with me and any other member,” said Kathi. “He is a wonderful mentor. You can ask him for help and he would be right there.”
Similarly, John says his wife is an awesome volunteer. “She gives 110% no matter what she is doing. She is a great role model to our daughters and grandchildren, and to the public,” said John. “She is always ready to help wherever needed and ready to learn something new.”
Although John and Kathi have been volunteering for almost 42 and 20 years, respectively, they are still always training and honing their skills. In addition to weekly training at the fire company, volunteers can advance their training through state and national certifications. Norriton Fire Engine Company provides training and gear for all volunteers.
“If you want to help your community, consider joining our team,” said Chief Kevin McDevitt. “We always need more firefighters, junior firefighters, fire police and administrative members to answer calls and keep our station running smoothly.”
Learn more about volunteering or fill out an inquiry form at NorritonFire.org.