Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Johnson City Fire Department mourns the loss of one of their former leaders. Former Fire Chief George Maney died on Sunday.
On Monday, the fire department lowered their flag to half-mast and hung black and purple bunting on the front of the station. They do this as a sign of respect for Maney and to show that they are in mourning.
According to the fire fighters on staff, Maney was the chief from 1986-2001. He served as a lieutenant in the 1970s.
President of the Fire Fighters Association Bob Blakeslee grew up with Maney. He fondly remembers his first fire with him.
"It was the first time I ever seen him something other than Chief Maney, my dad's friend, to someone who was pushing me inside of a burning building and telling me what to do and do my job," Blakeslee said.
Maney is described as a decisive, good leader who always cared about his men.
"He was just a good leader all around," Blakeslee said.
JCFD Lieutenant John Fuller worked with Maney for 10 years. He remembers Maney as a chief who always put his fire fighters first.
"We're going up the stairs on a fire that we had over on St. Charles, and we didn't have our air packs on, our masks, we get up there and he's yelling at us to get our masks on, standing up there where the fire's going - no mask, no nothing - but a towel over his face," Fuller said.
Maney was influential in the second addition to the Harry L. Drive station and getting that station a Tower 1 fire truck.
Blakeslee said he ushered in a new era of fire prevention in Johnson City, he said Maney brought in programs to teach the community on fire safety.
Maney has been cremated.