Streetsboro -- After 28 years of service Lt. Stephen Manijak is retiring from the Streetsboro Fire Department.
"He will be dearly missed," said Fire Chief Robert Reinholz. "It is going to be very difficult to replace his dedication and loyalty."
Manijak worked as a part-time lieutenant for the fire department.
When Manijak first joined the department in 1988, it was a volunteer job.
"We got paid approximately a dollar per meeting or call in," said Manijak who has made many memories with the department. "I learned a lot and found it very enjoyable, so I decided to stick with it."
Manijak always enjoyed working with children. Memorial Day parades when children would look at the fire truck and toot on the horn were highlights for him.
The most rewarding part of the job for Manijak was being able to save lives on the ride to the hospital.
"One of my biggest fears on the job was going on a call and going into different people's homes not knowing what to expect," said Manijak. "That is not something I will miss."
Manijak has been a full-time machinist with Christopher Tool in Solon since 1991 and plans working there for another five or six years.
With his extra free time, Manijak hopes to spend time with his two grandchildren, one of whom is in second grade. His other grandchild is 2 years old.
"We like to rough house each other," said Manijak.
The city of Streetsboro has grown drastically since Manijak first started.
"There used to be only one hotel in Streetsboro when I first started," said Manijak. "It felt good being part of something that was growing."
Manijak enjoyed working with people he considered his family.
"I think the department's doing real well, and I hope the department continues to grow with the city," said Manijak.
"I cannot say enough good things about Steve Manijak," said Reinholz. "It was never about the money. He did it out of service to the community and a passion for helping people."
Filling the vacancy
Mayor Glenn Broska said he doesn't plan to fill Manijak's lieutenant position because he wants all the officers to be full-time with the department.
"It's just part of a natural progression from a volunteer, to a part-time to a combination fire department, which is what we're going to," he said. Four part-timers were recently hired to help fill ranks of the part-time firefighters, he added.
When a firefighter leaves the fire department, there is a testing process candidates must go through to join the department. Candidates for full-time positions must take a Civil Service test while prospective part-timers go through a different testing process. This test was given to four new part timers in July who have since joined the fire department.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4163