Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett
Ron Casto is a full-time Whitehall firefighter and emergency medical technician, and an auxiliary police officer. He will be honored on April 17 between 6 and 10 a.m. during the B107.9 radio’s Hometown Heroes Tour. The public is invited to the ceremony at the fire station, at 390 S. Yearling Road.
Ron Casto is best described as a humble hero.
The Whitehall firefighter and emergency medical technician, who also serves as an auxiliary police officer, will be receiving the Hometown Hero Award from B107.9 radio station April 17 during the station’s annual Hometown Hero Tour coming to the city’s fire station on Yearling Road.
The quiet, modest Casto said, "I think there are others who deserve it more than I do."
Whitehall Community Affairs Coordinator Zachary Woodruff thinks otherwise, saying, "Ron’s turn has definitely come. He serves the city well in all capacities."
Casto grew up in Galloway, graduating from Westland High School in 1992. He went right into the Marine Corps, specializing in logistics, and serving until 1996.
The following year he became a firefighter at Whitehall, and received his medic card to be an EMT in 1999.
Casto also had a strong desire to be a police officer, which he did with the Whitehall Police Department in 2005.
He said that he followed the footsteps of his dad, who was a firefighter and Marine, and his uncle, who was a Columbus police officer.
The married father of two offered that his jobs are rewarding, exciting, and that he just loves helping people. He is also the medic on the S.W.A.T. team.
He thinks he switches gears pretty well, but at times it can be difficult when on duty as an officer handling an accident scene with injuries. He wants to rush right in and help, but must wait for his buddies from the fire station to respond. But he knows they are on their way.
Everyone knows their job, and does it well, which makes working together a whole lot easier, he said. He noted how lucky it is that Whitehall is a small, tight-knit community, and that goes for the police and fire departments, too.
"We know each other on a first-name basis, and we socialize outside of work, besides working together. It’s very unique, and it works," Casto said.
The Hometown Hero Tour with DJ Jim Hunter will be in the bay at 390 S. Yearling Road from 6 – 10 a.m. The public is invited.
Woodruff pointed out that Whitehall is the only city other than Columbus that is visited by the radio station each year.
Major sponsors for the event are Fifth-Thurd Bank and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
ulinary students from Eastland Vocational Career Center will be cooking the food, which was donated by an anonymous corporate sponsor, and the Whitehall Yearling High School jazz ensemble may be on hand to entertain.
Woodruff noted that 100 special invitations had been sent out, and he’s hoping for a record attendance.