Trustees declare day to honor retiring fire lieutenant
Jackson Township commemorated the service of an outgoing firefighter by making it his day.
Jackson trustees issued a proclamation declaring June 18 as "Steve Veselica Day," honoring 25 years of service from Lt. Steve Veselica, who recently retired from the Jackson Township Fire Department.
In attendance for the proclamation were officials, fire department personnel and members of Veselica's family.
A 1972 graduate of Grove City High School, Veselica first started working for the fire department in June 1986 as a volunteer, joining the division full time in 1988 and reaching the rank of lieutenant in 1999. He was the first officer to head the division's fire prevention bureau. In 2007, he received an associate degree in fire science from Columbus State Community College, where he is also working on a degree in business management.
Veselica said he plans to continue doing volunteer work. Among the work he's done are disaster relief efforts in Florida and mission trips to Guatemala.
"I've come full circle," he said. "I enjoy volunteering. I don't need to be paid to help other people. ... There's a big need."
Before he became a firefighter, Veselica was an electrical technician. When he became a firefighter, Veselica said he was heavily influenced by Capt. Ralph Perdew, who mentored many firefighters.
Fire Chief Lloyd Sheets said Veselica was a person the other firefighters could look up to personally and professionally, and know he would always do the right thing.
"It has been a privilege working with you," Sheets said to Veselica.
Firefighter Morgan Gierman said he wanted to publicly thank Veselica for the help he gave him and other members of the department.
"I would have struggled the last few years without him," Gierman said.
In other news from Jackson Township:
* The board of trustees on June 18 unanimously approved an extension to the joint dispatching and communication services agreement between Jackson Township and Grove City.
Under the terms of the agreement, Grove City will continue to provide dispatcher services to the Jackson Township Fire Department. The cost will remain at its current annual rate, $159,000, for the calendar year 2014, and will increase by 6 percent, or $9,540 more, for a cost of $168,540 in 2015 and 2016.
Jackson Township has contracted dispatcher services from Grove City since 1986.
Grove City Council is scheduled to vote on the agreement Monday, July 1.