|Madison Hose Company # 1 Mourns the Loss of John Bodner|
|By Member Chris Marinaro|
|August 15, 2023|
Madison Hose Company # 1 is mourning the loss of long time member, John Bodner. John joined Madison Hose Company # 1 on December 10th 1959. A mechanic by trade, he quickly became an asset to the company because of his knowledge of how the trucks and their pumps worked.
During the early 1970’s John helped to restore our 1926 Childs antique fire engine to parade condition. This apparatus holds a special place in the hearts of the company, especially to John. After the restoration, John took this apparatus and company members to manyEngine 260 Musters in Milford, and firemen’s parades throughout the state. As special as this truck is to the company though, it was John’s passion for teaching others that has had the most profound impact.
In February of 1977 the Madison Hose Company # 1 established a junior firefighting program. John became the first advisor to the program, a role he would serve through the early 1990’s. Affectionately referred to as “Dad” by many of the junior members, John put in countless hours training the junior members to become great firefighters. His teachings and wisdom have now been passed on by generations of firefighters within the company.
The lasting imprint John has had on the fire service cannot be denied. Of the 130 individuals who have served as members of the Madison Hose Company # 1 junior program, 50 have gone on to be senior members, 11 of whom have gone on to serve as line officers and 4 of whom have served as Chief of Department. It should be noted that many of the young firefighters whom John taught have gone on to careers in the fire service in other communities, some even serving in the role of Fire Chief.
On August 25th 1994, John became an exempt firefighter having served 35 as an active member of Madison Hose Company # 1. Even after becoming an exempt member John was a regular fixture at the firehouse, participating in committee work and frequently attending meetings and training. John was a member of Madison Hose Company #1 for a total of 65 years, an amazing commitment to the company and the community as a whole.
The void that is left is immeasurable and cannot be filled. John will be remembered for his tremendous sense of humor, his jokes and his unforgettable laugh. If you were lucky enough to be the subject of his jokes, you knew you were loved, and loved he was.
John, thank you for your years of service and friendship, you are dearly missed. Rest easily old friend, we’ve got it from here.