RYE, N.Y. - Lifelong Rye resident and retired Rye City Firefighter Edward Dempsey was inducted into the New York State Veteran's Hall of Fame along with 55 other inductees in Albany.
"I'm very proud," Dempsey said. "There were 55 people inducted, and I just so happened to be one of them."
Dempsey, who was nominated for the honor by State Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, served as a member of the fire brigade battling fires on airfields and army bases. Dempsey said as part of the induction, he and his family were taken on a tour of the capital by Oppenheimer, Assemblyman George Latimer and former Rye Mayor Steve Otis.
"It was quite a day, I enjoyed it immensely," Dempsey said.
During the majority of his time in the service, Dempsey served on an Army Air Corps base in the Mojave desert in California.
"Because it was a training base, sometimes they had a little bit of trouble with the planes, but we were always there," Dempsey said.
After being honorably discharged in 1945, Dempsey, who comes from a family of Rye firefighters, became a volunteer firefighter for the Milton point fire house. In 1949, Dempsey signed on as a professional fireman and served the city for 35 years.
Dempsey also served as president of the Rye Recreation Senior Club, a Boy Scout troop leader, an usher for Resurrection Church, and as a Little League coach for 20 years. In 2003, Dempsey was elected to the Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.