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Westport Hose honors pair of 50-year members

Bruce Hoskins and James Westover, Sr., talk after being honored for 50 years of service to the Westport Volunteer Fire Department.

Bruce Hoskins and James Westover, Sr., talk after being honored for 50 years of service to the Westport Volunteer Fire Department. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Members of the Westport Volunteer Fire Department came together May 18 for an annual banquet and a chance to honor a pair of peers who have served the company for 50 years.

James Westover Sr., and Bruce Hoskins road to the Westport VFD was very similar, as both were named members May 1, 1963 and both have served in the Emergency Squad as drivers.

“When we started out, we had a used Hearse with a door on the side,” Hoskins said. “From there, we were able to progress to what we have now.”

“It doesn’t seem like it has been that long,” Westover said.

The two silver members of the department were honored throughout the night, receiving resolutions of appreciation from the town of Westport (presented by board member Michael “Ike” Tyler), Essex County (presented by Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish).

Emcee Ernie LaPine also presented commendations from Assemblyman Dan Stec, State Sen. Betty Little, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Firemen’s Association of New York and the Volunteer Fire Police Association of New York. The duo also received a pair of Citizen’s watches from the department.

“This does not mean you get to retire,” LaPine joked.

The department also recognized other members who had reached service milestones, including Adam Cross (10 years), Irwin Borden (15 years), David Golembeck (15 years), Phil Kneller (20 years) and Judy Napper (20 years), who was the first female member of the fire department.

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