BEAVERCREEK — For David Mallonee, his 36-plus-year career was the fulfillment of a childhood dream. Wednesday, that career came to a close as he retired from the Beavercreek Township Fire Department.
It all started with a boy going to work with his dad. Mallonee said as a child he would go to the firehouse with his father, Gene, who was a volunteer fireman for 25 years.
“I’d come work at the firehouse with him all the time,” David said. “… I was three years old, and I can remember sitting in the fire truck for the first time, and I pretty much knew what I wanted to do.”
Over the years, Mallonee, learned about firefighting, the equipment, the station. Eventually, in 1979, he too became a volunteer firefighter. In 1981, he was brought on in a part-time role and began full-time work in 1987. He went on to be promoted to lieutenant in 1995.
“You have a lot of responsibility, but it’s also fun to hopefully help people with their careers too,” Mallonee said.
Plenty has changed during that career, according to Mallonee. To name some of the areas of development: the firefighting apparatus; the stations; the construction of community features like the Mall at Fairfield Commons, the Greene, Interstate 675; EMS programs; changes in the ways fires are fought generally; and the ongoing education.
“You’re constantly learning up until the day you retire,” he said.
Mallonee said he remembers his first fire call, a barn fire, was on a bitter cold morning.
“They had a bunch of cows and all the cows were standing along the fence row looking at us,” he said. “It was like they were staring at us. It was just comical.”
Many calls, runs, emergencies and years later, he’s wrapping up a career that was, well, he says it best: “It’s kind of a boyhood dream come true.”
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.