Ronnie "Moose" Wentzel, a beloved longtime firefighter in Berks County, has died following his long battle with a rare form of brain cancer. He was 51.
Wentzel, 51, of Sinking Spring, spent most of his life helping his community. His titles included firefighter, police officer, and EMT. Most recently, Wentzel served as deputy chief with the Reading Fire Department.
The Western Berks Fire Department posted the following message on its website Sunday morning:
"It is with deep regret that the Western Berks Fire Department announces the passing of Deputy Fire Chief Ronald E. Wentzel, Jr. Chief Wentzel served as Deputy Chief since its establishment in 2009 and also in a variety of leadership positions with the Liberty Fire Co. of Sinking Spring prior to its consolidation in 2009. Chief Wentzel impacted countless number of lives as a public servant in the police, fire, and emergency medical fields for over four decades throughout Berks County.
"Chief Wentzel’s knowledge and expertise in public safety extended nationwide as a local-level fire instructor with the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, a member of the NHRA Safety Safari, and a member of the East Central PA Incident Management Team."
Two years ago, Wentzel was diagnosed with the rare form of brain cancer. He was only given months to live, but continued to courageously battle the disease.
Wentzel's fight against the cancer inspired community members, who held a parade and "Light Up the Night" event in honor of Wentzel just last month.