Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
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Police & Fire

Father passes torch to son at Sylvania Township Fire Department

  • CTY-Retirement20-1

    CTY Retirement20 01/19/2018 Sylvania Township firefighters Jeff Young and his son Dillon Young work their last day together at Station 64 in Sylvania. Jeff is retiring, and his last day on the job is tonight.THE BLADE/LORI KING

    The Blade/Lori King
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  • CTY-Retirement20

    CTY Retirement20 01/19/2018 Sylvania Township firefighters Jeff Young and his son Dillon Young work their last day together at Station 64 in Sylvania. Jeff is retiring, and his last day on the job is tonight.THE BLADE/LORI KING

    The Blade/Lori King
    Buy This Image

Sylvania Township fire Lt. Jeff Young worked his final shift after 30 years, but the family name could live on in the department for 30 more.

Jeff's son, Dillon, started working at the department as a part-time firefighter six months ago. The duo worked side-by-side from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Station No. 4 on Sylvania Avenue before the elder Young called it a career.

"It is a true honor," Jeff said. "It's something not a lot of people get to experience, getting to work with their son. Kind of like the old dog and the young dog, I'm OK just sitting on top of the hill and watching now."

Dillon works full time as a nurse at ProMedica Toledo Hospital in the intensive care unit. His father encouraged him to be whatever he wanted growing up, which wasn't always a fireman.

Dillon was in high school at Southview when he realized he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. Jeff kept a photo in his locker of his son playing high school hockey and offered it to him on his last day.

"My dad always told me how much he loved his job and how awesome it is to serve the community," Dillon said. "But he also stressed just because he was doing it didn't mean I had to."

Three decades in emergency response will produce many good days — and many bad.

Jeff recalled his best day as one of his first. He spent 10 years riding Life Squad and transporting patients to ProMedica Flower Hospital and took a liking to one of the nurses there. That woman is now his wife of 29 years.

The worst day? Years ago, when a Roadway tractor-trailer plowed into a small sport utility vehicle with a mother and three children inside.

Jeff also managed to have some fun in 30 years, telling the story of a prank he played on the former fire chief.

"We were training in a vacant building," Jeff said. "Police, fire, and SWAT were doing some training, and everybody got Jimmy John's [sandwiches], so there were boxes everywhere. We thought it would be a good idea to fill that chief's car up with the boxes. We got away with it, and somebody else got blamed for it."

Dillon said he hasn't ruled out a full-time career as a firefighter and will continue training toward that possiblity. His father believes he would fit right in.

"To watch him from five or six years ago to where he is now, it's pretty awesome," Jeff said. "Between my wife and I, there's a lot of satisfaction. Now it's time for him to stand on his own feet. From what I've heard from others who have worked with him, I think he's prepared for the future."

Dillon and his father are close, and Jeff has offered plenty of advice over the years. Dillon has tried to absorb as much as possible.

"He says, ‘there is no better service than the service of your fellow man. If you can do something for someone, do it.’ I'm not necessarily always asking him questions, but I always listen when he talks.

"If nothing came of my position here other than being able to work these last few shifts with my dad, I'd be OK with that," Dillon said.

Contact Jay Skebba at jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebbaBlade.

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