7/9/2014 10:33:00 AM Fireman Leyboldt retires, adjusts to a new chapter
From left, CYFD Engineer Lee Beaudette, Capt. Mark Leyboldt and Firefighter Marc Mazzella pose for the camera in the days prior to Leyboldt’s retirement after 30 years with the department.
Mark Leyboldt has a lot of time on his hands now that he's freshly retired from a long career with the Central Yavapai Fire District.
When asked what it's like to be retired after 30 years chasing fires, Leyboldt explained that retirement is a transition.
"I have always been involved with construction projects and will continue to be as long as I am able," Leyboldt said.
He said he would miss the camaraderie and "the thrill of a code three run on the fire engine."
Leyboldt is looking forward to another chapter in his life as he plans to stay involved with his church and enjoy more time with his three children and nine grandchildren.
"Our daughter, Monica, her husband, Randy, and their three kids and our son, Joe, his wife, Lisa, and their three kids live in Nebraska. Our youngest child, Rachael, and her husband, Jason, currently live in Colorado Springs. They always keep me full of projects and we plan to spend more time with them," Leyboldt said.
One of his favorite memories with the CYFD is the day he passed the paramedic exams in 1988.
"What a great day that was!" he said.
He also gained a promotion to the rank of captain that same year.
"The fire service took on a new meaning as I was looked at to teach and coach other firefighters. That was very rewarding. I was involved with many incidents where we helped people in their time of need.
"I was never alone as I had some of the best crews working under me," Leyboldt said.
Leyboldt said that nowadays, he's only ridden his bike a few times, but intends to ride as much as possible after returning from his vacation in Nebraska.
"I rode to work starting in 2003 and went one-way distances from four miles to Station 54 in Dewey to 32 miles to Station 57 in Williamson Valley. It kept me in shape and saved tons of money in vehicle costs," he said.
Truth be told, Leyboldt will have plenty of "honey do's" to complete, his wife, Ellen, said with a laugh as she explained that now she and her husband will have more opportunities to go camping and visit their children.
She remembers that there came a time in his career when "I just didn't listen to the scanner. After a while, you just start the morning with a prayer, that's just how you do it or you go wacko.
"I keep thinking he is going to have to go in to work. I love having him home every night and every weekend," Ellen said.