Mason designated Friday, March 22, as “Leon Langridge Day,” presenting the former firefighter with a proclamation.
After 28 years of service to Mason as a volunteer with the Fire Department, Langridge announced his retirement.
Chief Kerry Minshall said that Langridge felt it was time he make room for newer firefighters.
Minshall and Clark said that while they wanted to acknowledge Langridge’s service, he did not want a party. This prompted them to come up with the proclamation.
“From time to time when the council wants to recognize the accomplishments of anyone in the community, we can do it in a resolution or a proclamation,” said Clark.
“It is basically a document endorsed by the council that states the accomplishments of the individual and we name a day for them.”
Langridge said seeing the community gathered to honor his service was “very humbling.”
According to the proclamation, Langridge completed his 66-hour firefighter-training course in 1982, and joined the Mason Fire Department as a trainee by 1984, becoming a regular member in 1985.
Langridge said becoming a firefighter was a natural progression from being a scout involved in “safety, first-aid training, and helping one another.”
He noted his background as a scout also prompted him to volunteer in ambulance work, starting at Rockford Ambulance. Langridge continues to volunteer through the Mason Area Ambulance Service.
Langridge said the most rewarding aspect to being a firefighter was being able to teach children about fire safety and watch them come back years later and tell him how they had remembered and used what he had taught them.
According to Minshall, Langridge works fulltime as an engineer.
“Leon is a real good guy. He’s an even, common-sense type man and he has always been good to work with,” said Minshal.
Clark said it was important that Langridge at least have a document to hang on his wall to reflect the city’s appreciation.
“It’s signed by me, endorsed by the council, and it also represents the citizens of the community. On their behalf we are recognizing the accomplishments of this gentleman,” said Clark.