HARRISBURG – The Senate Transportation Committee today approved legislation introduced by state Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16) that would rename a portion of state Route 143 in Lynn Township in honor of two local firefighters who lost their lives in December 2022.
“These brave firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice and I want this road to serve as a constant reminder of their bravery and heroism,” Coleman said. “Their lives and sacrifices deserve to be remembered.”
Coleman’s Senate Bill 770 would rename part of state Route 143 in Lynn Township from the intersection of state route 309 to the Berks County border in honor of deceased New Tripoli firefighters Zachary Paris and Marvin Gruber.
Paris and Gruber died in the line of duty Dec. 7, 2022, when they became trapped while fighting a house fire in West Penn Township, Schuylkill County.
Paris was 36 years old and served as the assistant fire chief with the New Tripoli Fire Department, located in Lehigh County. He previously volunteered as a junior firefighter for the Blandon Fire Company. He also worked for the Green Valley Fire Station in Maryland.
He was the husband of Elizabeth for 12 years and was the father of two daughters, Lila and Amelia.
Gruber was 59 years old and served as a volunteer firefighter with the New Tripoli Fire Department. He volunteered with the fire service since the late 1980s and served the New Tripoli Fire Department since 2020. In addition to his service with the fire company, he was also the assistant director of public safety for the Northampton Community College in Bethlehem for the last 22 years.
He was the husband of Karen for 35 years, the father to Nicholas Gruber and Jordan Lybarger, and the grandfather to Cole, Lucas and McKenzie Gruber.
“Zachary Paris and Marvin Gruber were dedicated public servants who put the lives and safety of others above their own personal welfare,” Coleman said. “Our community owes them and their families a debt of gratitude we will never be able to repay. This road renaming would be an important sign of our community’s appreciation for these two fallen firefighters.”
Coleman’s bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
Residents who want to learn more about Coleman can visit his website at www.SenatorColeman.com, follow him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SenatorJarrettColeman and sign up for email newsletters at www.SenatorColeman.com/eNewsletters.
CONTACT: Leo Knepper