Peter E. Dromms was born in Lansingburg, New York, to the late Henry H. and Elizabeth Dromms on August 9, 1945. Pete graduated from North Syracuse High School in 1963. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving on the USS Allen Sumner during the Vietnam War until October of 1967. After his military service, Pete worked for Verizon as a technical support engineer for 36 years before retiring. He continued his public service with the fire department up to the day that he succumbed to his injuries on March 25, 2023, 2½ months after suffering a cardiac event while fighting a residential fire on January 13, 2023.
Pete was the longest serving operational member of the North Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department, serving 55 faithful years. He joined the fire department on November 7, 1967, and never stopped responding to emergencies. He held several positions during those years, including chief of fire from 1979 to 1983, fire warden, association treasurer, association president and chairman of the board of directors. He received several awards for his efforts and leadership, including Officer of the Year in 2004, and Firefighter of the Year in 1997 and 2015.
Pete spent his summers in Old Forge, New York, where he proudly served with the Old Forge Fire Department and Ambulance Corps. He became affectionately known as “Cowboy Pete,” as he was hardly ever seen without his cowboy hat. He was known for calling the push ball tournament at the yearly fire school and Bingo on Monday nights at the fire hall.
Pete always had something to say. Whether it was a story from the past or an educational moment, he could chat your ear off at any time of the day or all day. He was a teacher to many over the years, with some still learning from him up to the day that he departed this earth. He was always dedicated to his family, whether it was home family or fire department family. Pete leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Gail Dromms; children, Jennifer (Mark) Burkhart and Patricia (Michael) Moore; and grandchildren, Madison Burkhart, Riley Burkhart, Mackenzie Moore, and Martin Moore.
Pete’s story and legacy will forever live on through the love that he shared with his family, the fire service, and the community that he served. He was a hero to many and will never be forgotten.