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Little Falls Fire Chief Vincent Dransfield served for 80 years, passed at 110 years old

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Little Falls NJ - Passaic County. We mourned the passing of Little Falls Fire Chief Vincent Dransfield, he has answered his final alarm. He was well known as the Centenarian, 80 Yr. Fire Co. Member & Former Chief

Vincent "Chief" Dransfield, a lifelong Passaic County resident, he passed away peacefully at his home in Little Falls, NJ at the age of 110 years old on June 26, 2024.

Vince was born on March 28, 1914 in a house on Preakness Avenue in Paterson, NJ. and has lived independently in the town of Little Falls, NJ which he had called home since 1945. He never had any major health issues and would drive his car to the local Quick Check and ShopRite for coffee, newspapers, groceries and conversation. Vince attributed his longevity to his job and pastime at the fire department. He was 21 years old when he joined the fire department, where he spent over 80 years serving at the Singac Volunteer Fire Company #3, in addition to serving as Chief for 8 years. Vincent "Chief" Dransfield remained on the Singac Volunteer Fire Co. No. 3 roster throughout his life which was organized in 1912, two years before he was born. He was extremely proud to be the oldest living fireman in the country, still showing up to the firehouse when the calls came in as recently as 2019. Chief Dransfield was reported to be the oldest living male in NJ, and the 8th oldest person in the US, until his passing. In his later years at Singac Fire Company, his seniority and experience made him essential to the fire company. He served as 3rd in command at active fires, working the pumps on the fire truck well into his 80's to allow the volunteer fireman to fight the fires. Long after his wife passed away, he would go to the firehouse every day between 3-5pm, and all his firemen buddies would sit and hang out. Vince and his fellow firemen were known as the "3 to 5 club" and Chief Dransfield would hold court with his brethren on all topics of the current day.

Vincent was born in Paterson NJ, where he dropped out of school at 15 to work on a dairy farm to help support his family and started drinking milk supplemented with Ovaltine, which he still drank up until his passing. He had a milk delivery route that included delivering to Joe Louis, who trained on a farm in Pompton Lakes in the mid-1930s.

When World War II broke out, he was working as a manager at the Schmid company, which supplied condoms to U.S. troops overseas. He told his family he was not drafted into military service because his job was classified as a civil defense position.

He later worked as a manager at Crane Motors in Little Falls for 25 years, followed by several years at another job dealing with car parts, before retiring.

Dransfield got married in 1938, when he was 24, and his wife introduced him to Little Falls, when they moved into their house in 1945. His daughter, Beverly, was born a few months later.

Vince "Chief" Dransfield was smart as a whip up until his passing, routinely cracking jokes with family and friends. He knew so many people and could tell you with great accuracy how he met them, where they lived and what they did for a living. His family and friends are better people for knowing him, he made everyone happier and smarter for having spoken with him. Vince will be missed sorely by all that were graced to be in his presence.

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TODD HOLLRITTCorrespondent

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