MERRILL — The Merrill Fire Department has hired firefighter/paramedic Eric Trempe, who is the 187th member of the department in its 131-year history.

Trempe, who filled a vacant position, began his training on May 16 and now is a member of the C Crew.

Trempe is a 2010 Wausau West High School graduate and previous to his hire at Merrill Fire Department, worked for the Maine Fire Department, as well as the South Area Fire & Emergency Response District, or SAFER. He has served in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer and continues to serve in the U.S. Army National Guard.

“It was clear to everyone involved in this hiring process that Eric was the type of candidate we were looking for,” said Fire Chief Josh Klug. “He brings a lot to the table and we are confident that he will do good things in the Merrill community.”