Governor orders flags lowered for fallen Dover fire chief

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

Volunteer firefighters in Dover are mourning the loss of their chief, who died Wednesday after responding to a medical emergency.

Troy Dettinger, 55, died of a heart attack shortly after returning home from a cardiac arrest call in Dover, according to Louise Yingling, president of Union Fire and Hose Co. No. 1, where Dettinger had served since 1993.

Troy Dettinger

"It's a shock to the station, the surrounding stations and also to the community," Acting Fire Chief Gwainn McKeever said. "It's not something you want to do as a member of any fire department is planning the funeral after the death of your chief during the line of duty."

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered Pennsylvania state flags to fly at half staff on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds in York County to honor Dettinger. Those flags will be flown at half staff until sunset on Monday, the day of Dettinger’s funeral. 

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Dettinger was a 29-year veteran of the Union Fire and Hose Co. No. 1 and had been chief for eight of those years.

"Before that, he held multiple positions with the fire department, both operational side and administrative side, throughout those 29 years," McKeever said. "He helped with the training and the fundamental building for the junior fire department. He helped with some of the planning with the York County Chiefs' Association, which pretty much govern what York County fire departments do."

Dettinger was born May 20, 1967, in York County, to Sandra L. (Campbell) Smith of Red Lion and the late Larry G. Dettinger. He attended Red Lion High School. 

He was also a part-time driver for West York Fire Co. and worked for The Fire Store in Abbottstown. 

"He was knowledgeable about everything," McKeever said. "In 29 years, you pick up a thing or two about the job, about the area."

A viewing will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Emig Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc., 47 N. Queen St., in Dover.  Following cremation, there will be a celebration of life service at 4 p.m. Friday at Union Fire & Hose Co., 30 E. Canal St., Dover.   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Union Fire & Hose Co. No. 1, 30 E. Canal St., Dover, PA 17315.