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Jun 06, 2023

Never Forget
Passing of Ex-Chief Les Bischoff
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By Foreman Donald Wicks
April 29, 2022

Leslie E. Bischoff passed away on April 27, 2022, at his home in Cooperstown, NY.

Les joined the South Salem Fire Department after moving to Lewisboro from lower Westchester where he had been an active volunteer with the Hartsdale Fire Department.

Although generally a humble and reserved man, Les' tenure and accomplishments at SSFD were nothing short of exceptional. Upon joining the Department, one of Les' first contributions was discovering that the 1955 American LaFrance engine had a pump and run feature which was unknown to the other firefighters. Les was a loyal engine company member spending his entire service with SSFD assigned to engines rising to the rank of Lieutenant, Captain and ultimately Chief in 1966. After his term as Chief, Les was a member of the Board of Fire Commissioners for 20 years.

When not responding to emergency scenes, Les was active in overseeing the 1972 firehouse addition project. He was the first Department Supervisor, overseeing the firehouse kitchen and support functions, and he built the current bar area complete with homemade wagon wheel chandelier, a testament to his being a true craftsman.

Although Les moved to Cooperstown in the late 1990's, he remained in close contact with SSFD and the friends he made here, often returning for special events and always a constant presence working in the food booth at the annual carnival directing corn on the cob operations.

The members of the SSFD are saddened by the loss of one of their own, but remain proud to call Les Bischoff a friend and have him forever etched into their memories and history.


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South Salem Fire Department
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