FAIRBORN — Fairborn Fire Marshal Carl Day officially retired Friday after 38 years of service to the Fairborn community.
On July 1, 1975, Day began his public safety career with the City of Fairborn as a firefighter/paramedic. He transferred to the Fairborn Police Department as a police officer in 1977 where he also served as Range Master from 1979 to 1986.
In 1986, he transferred back to the fire department. He was promoted to Captain Prevention Bureau in August 1988, Fire Marshal in December 1992 and Fire Marshal/Life Safety Division Chief in January 2003.
“In 1975, I came to Fairborn for the job and I stayed for the people,” Day said. “I can’t imagine working with a finer group of men and women than the public safety people here in Fairborn. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to learn and grow, had some rewarding experiences, and an amazing career.”
Throughout his career, Day developed an extensive and diverse background by taking more than 165 specialized classes offered at the federal, state and local levels, many of which dealt with fire investigation and safety.
“Everybody has learned a lot from Carl, with his extensive experience in investigation, inspection and public education,” said Chief Mike Riley. “We have had the benefit of picking his brain the last few months to gain some more knowledge and try to further understand things he had going on.”
Day was previously licensed by the State of Ohio as a Fireworks Exhibitor, Pyrotechnics Exhibitor, and a Flame Effects Exhibitor. In collaboration with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, he helped develop the special effects/pyrotechnics course (NFPA 1126) held annually at Wright State University’s Ervin J. Nutter Center. The course is a continuing education requirement for Ohio pyro-technicians. The program is also open to fire officials and public safety personnel so they understand the safety requirements necessary to produce a pyrotechnics display in their communities.
Day shared his knowledge and experience as a Panelist on “Arson is a Crime for the 2011 Ohio Joint Insurance Fraud Seminar.” He served on the State of Ohio NFPA 160 Open Flame Committee, the State of Ohio Pyrotechnics Committee and the Ohio Fire Chiefs Code Committee. In 2006, he presented a special lecture on “Pyrotechnics and Flame Effects for the Entertainer” at Magi-Fest in Columbus. He is also a guest lecturer on fire/explosion/arson investigations for Wright State University’s Basic & Advanced Criminal Investigation courses.
“Carl also took on duties that didn’t appeal to many, especially when there was a lot of public interaction. He always represented the department very well and professionally in every situation he’s been in,” Riley said.
Corky, Carl’s clown alter ego, came to life as a means to teach children the importance of fire safety. What started as a one-man show developed into a 40-minute production. The troupe, consisting of Carl (Corky), Andrea Schott (E.D.I.T.H) and Karen Loar (Sparky the Fire Dog) along with a crew of puppets, were honored when they were invited to entertain and educate during the State Fire Marshal’s Centennial Celebration in Columbus.
“I had no way of knowing that Corky would set into motion a model fire safety program with clowns, puppets and magic,” said Day, who has also been an active member of the community outside of public service.
He has served as the Master of Ceremony for many Fairborn and an entertainer for Comedy for Kids. He is also a Kentucky Colonel recognized by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was recognized by the community as the Fairborn festivals and was the Fourth of July Parade Grand Marshal in 2005. The Fairborn Ministerial Association honored him with the Fairborn Peacemakers award in 2001.
In January 1999, the Great Ohio Fire Safety Educators Association presented him with the Lawrence Moore Memorial Award. Greene Memorial Hospital awarded Carl with the Herman N. Menapace Award of Excellence in May 1999. In addition, the Knights of Columbus Fairborn Chapter recognized him with the Blue Coat Award for Fire Department Service in March 1992 and the Blue Coat Award for Police Department Service in April 1981.
“I will miss the people the most,” Day said. “Fairborn has a reputation for hiring great people. They will continue to serve well and protect this community. There are a lot of young, dynamic and smart folks being hired in police and fire, and I think the city is in good hands.”
“He will certainly be missed on the department, but I think he’s ready to move on to the next chapter. We just wish him the best in retirement,” said Riley.
Though he is retiring from public service, he is not ready to completely retire just yet. Day will be working as a Private Fire Investigator for Fire Investigative Services, located in Huber Heights. This position will take him throughout Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina.
“That should keep me quite active,” Day added.