Clarendon honors fire chief for commitment while fighting cancer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2019 at 4:47 pm

Provided photo: State Assemblyman Steve Hawley presents a citation to Jon DeYoung on April 27 when he was recognized as Clarendon’s “Firefighter of the Year.”

CLARENDON – The Clarendon fire chief, who is fighting cancer for the fourth time, continues to lead the volunteer fire company, responding to most of the fire calls, accidents and attending committee meetings and training sessions.

Jon DeYoung does it while working a full-time job and getting chemo treatments. The Fire Company’s Board of Directors on April 27 honored him as Clarendon’s “Firefighter of the Year.”

“Regardless of everything going on he stays very active and is at the fire scenes, the trainings and all the committees,” said Bob Freida, president of the fire company.

DeYoung, 53, was feeling tired on April 27 from chemo. He had to build up his strength just to get to the banquet. He arrived late with a chemo pump, and was surprised to receive the award.

“He is truly doing the job as fire chief,” Freida said. “We wanted to recognize him for his determination and fight to continue to give back to his community.”

DeYoung said he was determined to attend the banquet to present the Chief’s Award to his son, Jon DeYoung Jr. who worked the past three years to get new rescue tools for the fire company.

He also was able to recognize his other sons for milestone anniversaries of service to the fire company. Jeremy has been a volunteer firefighter for 15 years and Tyler has been for 10 years.

“As the Chief and father of these young men I couldn’t have been more proud,” DeYoung posted on his Facebook page.

After he presented those awards, he said he was “totally shocked” when he was recognized as firefighter of the year. He received a plaque and personally engraved watch as well as citations from State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and State Sen. Robert Ortt.

“I could never do this without the support of all of our Line Officers and members,” DeYoung said. “None of it would be possible without the support of my family and number one supporter Brenda DeYoung. Thank you all!!”

The Fire Company also honored Dan Campbell for his service on the Board of Directors, and Troy Kingdollar received the President’s Award.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Jon DeYoung, front center, is pictured on March 24, 2018 in Albion when he was joined by about a dozen friends and family at the Wayne A. Burlison-Colon Cancer Awareness 5K Run and Walk in Albion. DeYoung walked the entire 3.17-mile course with his wife Brenda, son Jon and his wife Jessica, brother Jim and his wife Jackie, and several firefighters. Some of the firefighters wore their turnout gear while walking the course. The group also wore “DeYoung Strong” shirts.

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