–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: Feb 05, 2019
Sunday, Jan. 13, was a big day for Sylvania Township firefighter/paramedic Darrell Elliott. It was the last day of his 35-year career and he spent his shift working with his firefighter son Bryce, who recently joined the department.
“Bryce rode with us while he was in high school and he was also a member of the Police Explorers. However, he made the decision to become a firefighter and was recently hired on a part-time basis,” Elliott explained.
“It was great to work with him on my last day,” he added.
Elliott started his career in Marion, Ohio, in 1983 after becoming certified as a paramedic. He met his wife, Karen, relocated to Sylvania in 2000 and joined the Sylvania Township fire department. He worked at #2 station until the new #4 station opened the following year.
In 2010, he became one of the six drivers of the department’s 100-foot Tractor Drawn Aerial Tiller ladder truck. According to Elliott that fully equipped apparatus with its 100-foot ladder is called out to all structure fires and the more severe highway accidents.
“This career offered me the ability to help people in their time of need,” Elliott reflected. “Every day was different as we would get all kinds of calls.”
Sylvania Township Fire Chief Mike Ramm stated, “I would have to say that with Darrell we always knew what we were getting. He always did the right thing all the time. My worst fear of losing another guy to retirement is all the knowledge and guidance we need for the younger crew members. There is no replacing the years on the job.”
Lt. Jim Mueller, Elliott’s direct superior, noted, “Darrell defines what it means to have a 35-year career in a profession that is often difficult to articulate to a layperson. The knowledge and experience is difficult to compensate for.”
Mueller continued, “Having the forethought and knowing this day would come, Darrell always had patience and he paid great attention to detail to show and teach our new crew members, specifically with our 100-foot Aerial Tiller Ladder truck. Darrell’s hope is that they will, in turn, do that for the next guy. What more can you ask for than someone who shares knowledge with great patience for teaching? “
Elliott said he is looking forward to traveling in his retirement.