MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Joseph Bronzino said there have been a lot of changes to the Mount Kisco Fire Department since he joined it 65 years ago.
The lifelong Mount Kisco resident was honored for his years of service this week by the Mount Kisco Village/Town Board, Westchester County Legislator Peter Harckham and state Assemblyman David Buchwald, both of whom represent Mount Kisco. He was presented with proclamations from all three.
"If it wasn't for my family, my brother fireman standing out there in the back to give me support for 65 years, I wouldn't be up here accepting all this stuff," he said. "I just have to find a place to put it now."
More than 30 members of Bronzino's family were in attendance, including three of his four children. Several of his six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren were also present.
After graduating from Mount Kisco High School, Bronzino served in the Navy in 1945-46.
Upon returning, he married Suzanne Bronzino in 1947. They were married 54 years until her passing in 2002.
In 1949, he joined the Mount Kisco Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Fire Police. He has served as captain, president of the Rescue Fire Police, a member of the board of governors, and was elected fire chief in 1970. He was the first member of the Mount Kisco Rescue Fire Police to be elected fire chief.
"Since I was chief, and now with OSCEA, the fire department has changed very much," he said. "Today the guys have to take a longer course than we did."
To become a firefighter 1, you have to take 81 hours of training, compared with 31 hours in the 1940s.
"It's harder for the boys today to become fireman than it was then. The ones we do get are all good," he said.
Before honoring Bronzino, the Village/Town Board appointed Frank Randazzo as the new fire commissioner for the Mount Kisco Rescue Fire Police. He has lived in Mount Kisco since 1974 and owned a business in town since 1981.
He has served on the Rescue Fire Police for six years. He was joined by many of his fellow fireman for the appointment.