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After 75 Years of Service, Firefighter Bill Retires

After 75 Years of Service, Firefighter Bill Retires

Bill Lewis Sr. 93 chokes up after seeing the room full of friends and officials at the East Syracuse municipal courtroom to honor his 75 years of service as a fireman for East Syracuse.

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

July 13, 2010

East Syracuse, NY — How often does a volunteer firefighter stay with his force 75 years?

Not very often. That’s why there was a big turnout last week when Bill Lewis Sr. officially retired from the East Syracuse Fire Department.

The East Syracuse chief, Mike Cramer, said the department’s bylaws had to be changed to grant the retirement, which is the village’s first. “We’ve never had anyone on the rolls for 75 years,” Mike said.

He said Bill, who is 93, was kept on as a registered firefighter so we could make it to 75 years. The last two years, Bill stood guard as a fire policeman, rather than covering fires. The department was founded in 1888.

Bill’s retirement ceremony at East Syracuse village courtroom was attended by East Syracuse Mayor Danny Liedka, as well as the firefighter’s friends and colleagues.

He signed up to fight fires in East Syracuse in 1935.