Sunday, June 18, 2000

Mason firefighter retires, but passion for helping still burns

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — After 20 years as a firefighter in Mason, Capt. Perry Denehy got the ax Saturday.

        A 3-foot, chrome replica of the lumber-splitting tool mounted on a plaque was presented to him at a ceremony commemorating his career and retirement from the department. Mason City Council and Warren County commissioners also declared Saturday Capt. Perry Denehy Day in Warren County.

        Mr. Denehy, 39, officially retired June 1.

        “Twenty years of going to (fire) calls is a long time,” said Mason Fire Chief Billy Goldfeder. “Fools like me will do it forever, but smart guys like Perry will retire and find some gardening or teaching to do.”

        Mr. Denehy, a full-time health teacher and director of sports medicine for Sycamore schools, said he will devote more time to teaching, counseling, gardening and golf.

        “There's no doubt I will miss it,” he said of firefight ing. “But I leave with no regrets and complete confidence the department will continue to provide the same high-quality service it always has.”

        Mr. Denehy said he will remain with the department in a volunteer role as a stress management counselor.

        “Perry has always been loyal and 100 percent devoted to the community,” Chief Goldfeder said. He was known for his leadership and ability to motivate personnel.

        A graduate of Mason High School and Miami University, Mr. Denehy joined the Mason Volunteer Fire Company in 1980 as an emergency medical technician at age 19. Ten years later, he be came a volunteer EMS station captain and gain certification for hazardous materials operations.

        In 1995, Mr. Denehy became a paid part-time station captain with the Mason-Deerfield Joint Fire District. He maintained that position with the Mason Fire Department, formed after the joint district dissolved in 1998.


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