CHENANGO COUNTY – Bernie Chapman has been an active member of the Greene Fire Department for 50 years. Celebrating five decades of service is an accomplishment for any volunteer, but in Greene it bears special significance. Chapman is the first to reach this impressive milestone in the department’s 171-year history.
On Saturday, the GFD celebrated the occasion with a dinner in Chapman’s honor at the Genegantslet Golf Club in Greene. Approximately 140 members of the fire service, community and Chapman family attended the event, which was planned as a surprise for the guest of honor.
According to GFD volunteer Bernie McDermott, Chapman first joined the department on June 1, 1961. Today, at 77, he remains on the active rolls.
During his tenure, he has seen many changes, both in the department and in the fire service. McDermott speculated that Chapman has served under at least 15 fire chiefs, and worked out of three different stations.