By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
— DANVILLE — Leslie Young said she was very surprised at being named state Firefighter of the Year by the Department of the Pennsylvania American Legion.
“I had no idea,” said Young, deputy chief of the Mahoning Township East End Fire Department, Wednesday night.
She was told to visit the Danville American Legion Post 40 during the monthly meeting of Legion members and the home association. They told her Post 40 was going to present a donation to East End.
The Legion post and the fire department sponsored her nomination for the award. Post Commander Dean VonBlohn learned she had won Monday.
VonBlohn said he called Legion headquarters in Wormleysburg to find out if they received the 45-page packet of information submitted for Young’s nomination.
“They put me in touch with the law and order committee and asked what his name was,” VonBlohn said. “ I said I don’t think it’s a him — it’s a lady and the person on the phone said by the way she won.”
Young’s name has already been submitted for consideration for the national Legion award.
East End Chief W. Todd Gibson said VonBlohn contacted him last fall about the award. “We all unanimously said Leslie was the ideal candidate for the prestigious award,” Gibson said of himself and fellow firefighters. “She’s very much deserving of the honor. She’s a humble and gracious leader for the community.”
Also accompanying Young to the Legion were her husband, Kevin, who serves as a fire company trustee, Lt. Josh Poticher, Chief Engineer Sam Hunsinger, Engineer Lloyd Craig and member Chuck Eyer.
Legion members also voted to give Young $500 to help with travel expenses and for her hard work as a volunteer firefighter.
If she receives the national award, all her expenses would be paid to the Legion’s national convention.
As state winner, she will be invited to attend the Legion state convention July 17-21 in Harrisburg.
“We’re real proud of her,” VonBlohn said.
He didn’t know how many nominees were received for the award but said he understood there was “a good amount for the entire state.”
The information sent for the award included letters from the Montour County commissioners, the post and fire company.
Young, serving her fourth year as deputy chief, joined the East End company 16 years ago. She was dating her husband, a former East End chief, at the time. “I would go Tuesday nights to hang out and they kept telling me to join. There was a tornado drill at St. Cyril’s and I asked the chief if I could participate. He said sure but you have to wear turnout gear. I still have that turnout gear,” she said.
Ever since she joined, she has been working on fire prevention programs which have developed through the years. She has designed a fire prevention curriculum for schools and preschools and serves as co-founder of a summer fire safety camp for kids to be held again this year in August. She chairs the Montour County Fire Prevention Committee.
She has received commendations from Gibson, the Six-County Firemen’s Association and a special congressional recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.
A senior health physics technician at Geisinger Medical Center, she earned commendations for rescuing two children from a house fire in 2002 on Spring Street and for rescuing a woman from a mid-rise fire in 2010 at Beaver Place. “Other people were involved with those rescues,” said Young who said she volunteers “because there’s a need for it. If there weren’t volunteers, we’d be in trouble.”
Young, who has an elementary education degree, said she enjoys helping people and likes teaching fire prevention.
“I enjoy the camaraderie and the feeling of an extended family” in the fire service, Young said.
She has responded to all types of emergencies. The most humorous was when a bird’s head was stuck in the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital sign. Firefighters got a ladder, moved the sign and the bird flew away.
Young has also helped rescue cats from trees.
Gibson said Young is the only woman chief in Montour County and the only female chief he can recall ever being in Montour County and surrounding counties.
Young has been instrumental in establishing East End’s new junior fire program. In 10 years and probably more, she has achieved the No. 1 slot for the firefighter with the most call volume on an annual basis, Gibson said.
A member of the rapid intervention and water rescue teams, Young is also an accomplished illustrator who has provided artwork and fully hand-drawn illustrations for a book about the history of the Molly Maguires and their ties to Montour County history.
The Catawissa native serves on the Geisinger Life Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committees.
In her free time the Penn State, Steelers and Pirates fan hunts and fishes.
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The Mahoning Township Fire Department would like to thank the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania for the generous grant made possible through the Helen Claire Brinkman Fund. This grant allowed us to purchase 24 pairs of structural firefighting gloves. Without this purchase, our firefighters would still be wearing/using gloves that are 5 years or older.
MONTOUR AREA FIRE DEPARTMENTS9th ANNUAL FIRE SAFETYSUMMER DAY CAMPAugust 8th, 9th, & 10th 2018Age group 6-10 (only): 9:00am – 11:00amAge group 11-15 (only): 1:00pm – 3:00pmLocated at the Danville Middle School (on Route 11)The Montour Area Fire Departments are again hosting a Safety Summer Day Camp for Kids. The Camp will consist of Local Fire Departments as well as other area Public Safety organizations. The Camp will teach bas...
After 54 years of service as a fire department member, former East End Chief Robert Fiegles’s name will be a permanent part of the home he loved.Fiegles, who served as fire chief in 1968, 1975 and 1976, had “public service in his blood,” recalled his son, Stephen Fiegles. Stephen spoke at a special ceremony at the May 18 meeting of the Mahoning Township supervisors, where they unveiled a new plaque commemorating Robert Fiegles. Christine DeLong, chair of the township super...
East End Fire Company (MTFD) is very proud of fire fighter Andy "Kooter" Makuch, He graduated from the FDNY academy and is now a fire fighter with Ladder 156 in Brooklyn! He started with MTFD in 2002 as a Junior!Served 4 years as a USAF Fire Fighter!Congratulations Andy!
The annual "Blue Bat Classic" was held at the 1st Baptist Church softball field between Continental Fire Co and East End Fire Co. East End will again have the honor of keeping the bat in their trophy case. It was a game of fun and friendship.
There is currently a burn ban in Montour County until May 10th. WHEREAS, the County Commissioners of Montour County are desirous of providing for the health safety and welfare of the people of Montour County; and WHEREAS, the Commissioners, in cooperation with firefighting organizations and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, are desirous of regulating the outdoor burning; and WHEREAS, the Commissioners are desirous of protecting the people of Montour County of t...
Way to go Andy! We are proud of you!! Click the link to read about Andy's scholarship: http://pctoday.pct.edu/two-aviation-students-awarded-international-helicopter-scholarships/
Chief – Leslie Young Deputy 61 – Richard Spotts Capt 60 – Kevin Young Lt 61 – Chuck Eyer Lt 62 – Josh Poticher Lt 63 – Jonathan Fellin Lt 68 – Jack Brecht Chief Engineer – Sam Hunsinger Engineer 61 – Lloyd Craig Engineer 62 – Greg Neff
Firefighter is best in U.S. Mahoning Township volunteer encourages other women By Chris Krepich - Press Enterprise Writer Published: May 31, 2013 MAHONING TWP. —Leslie Young has a message for women who are thinking of becoming a firefighter: Just do it. After all, it’s worked out fairly well for her. Young was recently named American Legion Firefighter of the Year. The Mahoning Township deputy fire chief found out via letter Tuesday that she’s been nam...
Mahoning Township Fire Department East End Fire Co.’s Deputy Chief Leslie Young turns to the crowd smiling after American Legion Post Commander Dean Vonblohn got done reading the letter Post 40 used to nominate Young for American Legion Pennsylvania Firefighter of the Year. She won. Young received the surprise news at the post’s meeting Wednesday evening. The firefighters in attendance thought they were receiving something from the Danville American Legion Post. Young has been i...
Mahoning Township's Leslie Young is 'Firefighter of the Year' By Karen Blackledge The Danville News — DANVILLE — Leslie Young said she was very surprised at being named state Firefighter of the Year by the Department of the Pennsylvania American Legion. “I had no idea,” said Young, deputy chief of the Mahoning Township East End Fire Department, Wednesday night. She was told to visit the Danville American Legion Post 40 during the monthly mee...
The new line officers and house committee members for Mahoning Township Fire Department’s East End Fire Co., front row, from left, are Jonathan D. Fellin, treasurer; Sam Hunsinger, chief engineer, Richard Spotts, captain; Todd Gibson, Chief 60; Leslie Young, deputy chief; and Greg Neff, engineer. In back row are Bruce Williams, president; Bill Gerst, vice president; John Brecht; Jill Balliet, secretary; and Chuck Eyer, president of the Mahoning Township Volunteer Firemen’s Relief ...
Todd Gibson - Chief, Leslie Young - Deputy Chief, Rick Spotts - Captain, Eric Nevel - Lieutenant 61, Josh Poticher - Lieutenant 62, Mark Olaf - Lieutenant 63, Sam Hunsinger - Chief Engineer, Lloyd Craig - Engineer 61, Greg Neff - Engineer 62, Social Hall: Bruce Williams - President, William Gerst - Vice President, Jill Balliet - Secretary, Jonathan Fellin - Treasurer, Lee Ann Brecht - Financial Secretary, Jim Ayers - Trustee, Alby Gerst - Trustee, ...
East End took delivery of their new Drager SCBA's. Training provided by drager was held on Wed. June 27th. Work detail on Tues. July 3rd to place them in service.
The 4th annual Blue Bat Classic between Continental Fire Co. and East End Fire Co. was held on June 19th at the 1st Baptist Church softball field. In a 10- inning dual, East End brought the blue bat back to Station 60 with a 24-23 win. A great time was had by all involved and after the game, both teams enjoyed burgers and dogs at Station 30.
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Mesothelioma is a rare cancer and very few treat it. Firefighters face the risk of exposure to several respiratory toxins that may be released in fires. Asbestos is one of the most harmful toxins in this group. It can be found in older homes in insulation...