Veteran firefighter reflects on career

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Ken Sheffer said he was born to fight fires. He is a third generation firefighter, credited with saving lives over a 28-year career with York City.

“If I had the chance, I would start from scratch and do it all over again,” Sheffer said.

Sheffer started fighting fires more than 40 years ago. No one told him it was time to retire, but he did just that after one final shift Wednesday night.

Sheffer grabbed his gear and prepped the truck at York City's Station 2, stopping only to shake the hands of fellow firefighters who bid him farewell.

“He's trained everybody on this shift in one form or fashion,” Captain Chad Deardorff said.

For some city firefighters, Sheffer will be remembered as the man who may have possessed some type of superpower. Talk around the firehouse is that his ears can detect fire.

“If you look real close, you can see the burns. They have taken some heat through the years, I'll tell you that,” Sheffer said.

Sheffer is also the one responsible for placing shamrock stickers all over firefighting gear.

“I guess they are going to miss that a little,” Sheffer said.

The third generation firefighter is now 58. He started in the family business when he was 17. Officials said he is one of the most decorated men in the department.

“I just kind of enjoyed being the grunt that goes in and puts the wet stuff on the red stuff,” Sheffer said.

He said his body just isn't recovering like it used to, and said it was time to retire. Sheffer said he will certainly find ways to stay busy. He will still be active in the firefighting community. He is also a master electrician.

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