By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
Firefighters, elected officials and Legionnaires honored Leslie Young on Wednesday for being chosen National Firefighter of the Year by the American Legion.
Young, Mahoning Township Fire Department’s deputy chief, will be the first woman to receive the award on a national level. She is also the first Pennsylvania resident to achieve the honor.
Danville American Legion Post 40 honored Young with a citation. Harold Hurst, of the office of state Rep. Kurt Masser, presented her with a proclamation from the state House of Representatives. Hurst congratulated her on this great honor showing her exemplary service.
Young received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Post Commander Dean VonBlohn presented Young with a citation from the post which sponsored her nomination for state firefighter of the year which she won in February. She then advanced to win the northeast regional honor and the national award.
Young will be the fourth person to receive the award on the national level.
VonBlohn said he and the Legion department commander plan to attend the state convention where Young will be honored July 20 in Harrisburg.
He hoped the Danville post would send a representative to the national convention the end of August in Houston, Texas. Young will be honored at both conventions and accompanied by her husband, Kevin, also an East End firefighter.
“Her dedication and service to the community exemplifies the title of volunteer firefighter. It is truly an honor to present this certificate. She will be forever the Legion’s National 2013 Firefighter,” VonBlohn said.
Among those attending were members of East End and Valley Township fire departments, Montour County Commissioners Chairman Trevor Finn who is also a Danville firefighter and Christine DeLong, chairman of the Mahoning Township supervisors.
The only female fire chief in Montour County, Young is serving her fourth year as deputy chief after joining the fire company 16 years ago. She has developed fire prevention programs through the years including curriculums for schools and preschools.
A co-founder of a summer fire safety camp for children, Young is chairman of the Montour County Fire Prevention Committee. She has received commendations from her fire company, the Six-County Firemen’s Association and a special congressional recognition for outstanding service to the community.
Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.