A lot of dads miss the birth of a child because of work.

Truro Township Fire Chief Steve Hein was there because of work.

His wife called him and told him she needed him home immediately. He drove home and found her giving birth. He called for paramedics, who included some of the people he had just been working with, and delivered his son alongside his teammates.

Hein cites that call as the most memorable moment in his 43-year career, which ended June 1 with an open-house celebration at Station 162, 6305 E. Livingston Ave.

His son, Stephen Hein, now 34, said it's weird to see his father retire.

"It's odd to see that chapter close in his life," he said. "We're proud of everything he's done."

The elder Hein, 61, said he believes he leaves the fire department -- which also serves the city of Reynoldsburg and the village of Brice -- in better shape than he found it.

Under his supervision, Truro Township Station 161 was demolished, and a $3.7 million new station is under construction at 6900 E. Main St., thanks to voter approval in November 2016 of a 2.5-mill levy that is expected to generate about $1.1 million per year in additional revenue.

The biggest change during his career, he said, was in the number of calls the department responds to in a day. In the 1970s, calls came in maybe two or three times a day.

Now, it's more than 20 times a day.

Current Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Sharps will replace Hein.

"That's a lot of experience going out the door," Sharps said. "He's really instilled in me that patience goes a long way."

While state Reps. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester) and Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) were thanking Hein for his years of service, his grandchildren ran around the station's garage last Friday.

Hein said he plans to spend more time with his grandchildren during retirement, in addition to golf and fishing.

"I really enjoy what I do," he said of his now-former career. "I enjoy the people and some of the challenges."

aatkins@dispatch.com

@andrewjatkins