POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Carl Breuninger, the oldest active firefighter in the Pound Ridge Fire Department, died last week after suffering a stroke. He was 83.
Breuninger died at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco – the same hospital where he was born – on Wednesday, Nov. 21 after suffering a stroke at work several days earlier.
Born in 1928, Breuninger lived on West Lane in Pound Ridge all his life. He was educated in a one-room schoolhouse, which has long since been converted into what is now the Pound Ridge Library.
“The house we lived in on West Lane was a cottage back then,” Breuninger said in an interview with The Pound Ridge Daily Voice earlier this year. “But my dad and some of his friends remodeled it and put on a second story.”
Breuninger joined the Pound Ridge Fire Department in July 1947 and was a member for 65 years. His father was a founding member of the PRFD in 1933. In recent years Breuninger stayed active in the role of fire police. He was highly respected by the membership and remained one of the top responders to calls received by the department.
“Carl was an all-around nice guy,” said Lt. James (Sam) Dodge III of the fire department. “His heart was into the town – especially the fire department. He was a mainstay and put forth a valiant effort. He attended most every call.”
When asked in an interview for The Pendulum newsletter about his pride in being a member of the Pound Ridge Fire Department, Breuninger said, “You don’t get paid, but you do it out of public duty, and you get to know and hang out with a great bunch of guys who are giving their time.”
He also worked for the town as superintendent of cemeteries.
Breuninger had no children; he is survived by two brothers, Bob and Ronny. Fire department officials said they are waiting to hear from his family members about their wishes before planning a ceremony or memorial.
People can learn more about Breuninger's life in Bonni Brodnick's book, "Pound Ridge Past: Remembrances of Our Townsfolk."
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