Ohio Chief/Firefighter Retires After 48 Years On Job

July 15, 2013
After 48 years in the fire service, Shorty Stang of Monreoville says he's going to 'miss the hell out' of being a firefighter and chief.

July 15--MONROEVILLE -- Today marks a beginning and an ending.

Ronald "Shorty" Stang is retiring as a firefighter after 48 years.

"Am I going to miss it? I'm going to miss the hell out of it," said the lifelong Monroeville resident. "Like with all firefighters, it gets in your blood."

Stang has been a firefighter since 1965.

Every one of those 48 years of service has been with the Huron River Joint Fire District, formerly the Monroeville Fire Department.

"July 15, 1965 (was when) I first got into the fire department," Stang said.

Affectionately known as "Shorty," Stang was the chief from Oct. 1, 1996 through his Jan. 31, 2010 retirement. But that wasn't the end of his career.

"I stayed with the fire department. I did some radio. I went on some fire calls. I was still a firefighter," he said.

When Stang stepped down as chief, his longtime assistant chief, Tom Beck, took over.

"I've learned a lot from him," Beck said in 2010 just before taking over for Stang. "He's been a mentor to me all these years."

Beck calls Stang a "stand-up guy."

"He's dedicated 48 years to the village of Monroeville and the department. He's well known in the area and well respected by his peers," Beck said Sunday.

In 1983 or 1984, Stang became the assistant chief. About that same time, the Monroeville Fire Department was renamed and re-organized as the Huron River Joint Fire District.

The department covered five townships at that time.

Now, Huron River covers the village of Monroeville plus Peru, Ridgefield and Sherman townships. Its jurisdiction no longer includes Lyme and Oxford townships.

Stang, in 2010, told the Reflector the most-memorable fire he fought was July 3, 1991. It took 5 1/2 hours to get the blaze under control at what is now called Berry Plastics.

The fire at the former Venture Packaging Inc., 311 Monroe St., Monroeville, required 12 fire departments and 17 private "haulers," which brought water to the scene. Each fire agency brought a tanker.

Stang, 70, was born and raised on Peru Center Road. The 1960 Monroeville High School graduate has three children and six grandchildren.

While Stang has hung up his firefighter gear for good, he plans to continue being a barber as well as "do some golfing."

Stang runs Ron's Barber Shop at 5 Motson St. in Willard.

"I'll still barber. I'll still cut hair four days a week in Willard," said Stang, who received his barber's license in December 1961.

"I've been there since 1968," he said. "I've got to work 10 more years and I'll get the building paid for."

As far as being a firefighter, Stang said "it's time for me to move on" and bring in a younger crew. But he said he'll miss the fire department.

"They've got a good group of guys. Everybody wants to be a firefighter at Huron River," Stang said.

Copyright 2013 - Norwalk Reflector, Ohio

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