Written by Daniel Offner Wednesday, 26 March 2014 00:00
Epple named 37th Levittown Fire Chief
As a kid growing up, Donald J. Epple Jr. would mount his bike whenever he heard sirens, following the bright red fire truck to scene where he would watch as his father and members of the Levittown fire department put out the blaze. Following in his father’s footsteps, Epple joined the Levittown Fire Department on May 20, 1979, as a probationary firefighter and before long became a member of Ladder Company No. 1.
Now, 35 years since first joining the department’s ranks, Epple has been named the thirty-seventh Chief of the Levittown Fire Department.
“I call it my career,” Epple said, jokingly. “I love what I am doing.”
Epple was first elected to the position of Second Lieutenant in April 1984 and within a year, he moved up through the ranks to First Lieutenant. By 1987, he was named Captain of Ladder Company No. 1. After moving to the other side of Levittown, Epple transferred to Engine Company No. 7, where he served as company Captain in 2007-2008.
With experience as both a Truck and Engine Company Officer under his belt, and an unbrideled love for the firefighting profession, Epple decided to run for higher office. In 2010, Epple won his bid for the position of Third Deputy Chief of the department, and would win again in 2012 as Second Deputy Chief and then First Deputy Chief in 2013.
“After 35 years, it just becomes second nature,” Epple said, about managing the department.
In addition to his duties as Chief of the department, Epple works full time as a county employee and is currently divorced with three children—Jacqueline, Collette and Donald—who he said stood by him through it all.
“My children had to suck up a lot,” Epple said.
He also has an extensive training resume, is a certified Emergency Medical Technician and has been member of the Drill and Softball teams since he joined the department. On March 1, 1997, Epple received a letter of commendation for his actions during an out of state incident.
As the 37th Chief of the Levittown Fire Department, Epple added that he envisions enhancing camaraderie within the department, as well as providing firefighters the best training possible in order to provide the highest standards of firematic and emergency medical services to the businesses and residents within the Levittown Fire District.