A Gilbertsville man familiar with local history from the fire side has been recognized for 50 years of volunteerism and leadership.
James “Jim” Pochy recently was honored by the Gilbertsville Fire Department for his five decades of service, including 21 as chief.
On Sunday, Pochy said he was proud and pleased to receive a plaque with a clock on it during the department's annual clambake in August. About six or seven years ago, after serving as fire chief, he said, Gilbertsville Fire Department Engine 17 was dedicated to him “in recognition of his many years of leadership.”
The honors, however, don't mean the end of community service, said Pochy, who still responds to fire calls and attends firefighting organization functions.
“I enjoy doing it,” said Pochy, who is known as “Pooch.” After a lifetime in construction, he said, he is healthy and still takes on some jobs at his current age of 70.
Pochy said the Gilbertsville Fire Department, which legally is called the Eagle Fire Engine and Hose Company, is owned by its members and contracts to provide coverage to the town of Butternuts, the village of Gilbertsville and a portion of the town of Morris.
Scot Lueck, Gilbertsville Fire Department secretary, issued a media release about the efforts of Pochy and his wife, Susan, toward fire protection services.
“Asking Jim and Susie Pochy to tell a few stories from years past is like opening the nozzle on a fire hose, almost a literal fire hose because between them they have almost a century of experience with the Gilbertsville Fire Department,” Lueck said in the release.
Pochy started in the fire department when he was in high school and student volunteers were needed, the release said, and he met some members who encouraged him to join. Like many young couples with became involved in groups together, when Jim joined the fire department, his wife joined the auxiliary and soon will reach a 50-year milestone.