Submitted by his family
Joseph E. Piazzi was a beloved father; grandfather‚ brother‚ uncle and friend. A 36-year member of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department‚ Joe was a Deputy Chief and Fire Police Captain. He served with distinction as an active member of the Westchester Country Parade Judges Association.
Before joining the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department‚ Joe was a member for 23 years of Truck 1 of the Mount Vernon Fire Department. Joe joined Truck 1 in 1948‚ at the age of 18. During Joe’s service‚ the company responded to an average of 25 general alarms every month.
Joe held all the line offices at Truck 1‚ serving as Captain for two years and later as President of the company. In 1967 Joe was given the Arthur T. Woods Memorial Award for outstanding and unselfish service to the Truck 1 and the Mount Vernon Fire Department.
In 1971 Joe joined the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department. Joe was Chief of the Department from 1983 to 1985‚ after serving as 2nd Lieutenant‚ 1st Lieutenant and Captain of the Hook and Ladder Company. Joe served continuously as a Volunteer Fireman for almost 60 years.
As an officer Joe earned special praise for leadership in firematic training. He expanded training and drill programs‚ and many members of the company credited his training program as the basis for the company’s consistently fine work. Joe believed that effective firefighting should never result in an injury‚ and he promoted this belief by using his long experience to better train firefighters.
For many years Joe served as a delegate to the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York and a Director of the Westchester County Volunteer Firefighters Association. He honed his own skills by attending numerous firematic seminars and conferences. He advocated for‚ and took great satisfaction in‚ the establishment of a county-wide firefighters training center.
Joe was a devoted husband‚ whose wife‚ Catherine‚ passed away in 1994. He was the proud father of Debra Ann and the doting grandfather of Cassidy and Adam. He retired after many years in the employ of Con Edison‚ the utility company. He was a naval reservist for over a decade. He was a skilled auto mechanic and handyman‚ a master gardener and a great chef.
Joe died as he lived‚ serving his neighbors and his community during a long day of fire calls due to severe storms. As his friend and fellow firefighter Henry Campbell wrote‚ ‘For the young people in the fire service today looking for someone to emulate‚ Joe Piazzi is that person. Don’t be afraid to join fire service organizations and get involved. The fire service will always need more Joe Piazzi’s to sustain itself‚ so go ahead and follow in his footsteps and continue the good work that he accomplished. You will feel good about yourself‚ your department‚ and the fire service while making your community a better place.’
Submitted by his Chief
Joe was a life member of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department and a life member of the Mount Vernon Fire Department. He was an active Deputy Chief of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department.
Joe was a life member of the NYS Association of Fire Chiefs‚ FASNY‚ Hudson Valley Firemen’s Association‚ Westchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Association‚ Westchester County Parade Judges‚ Westchester County & Putnam County Fire Police Association.
Joe had responded to 7 calls for assistance after a storm went through our area on May 16th‚ 2007. He had returned home to assist a neighbor with a downed power line.
The fire department was dispatched for another storm related call. Joe called 911 from his vehicle in his garage to request an ambulance due to experiencing chest pain. He collapsed in his garage prior to the arrival of help. He was transported to the hospital where he died as a result of a heart attack later that night.
Joe had over 60 years of service & dedication to his neighbors & friends. Joe is missed each and every day.