Katonah Fire Department - Westchester County, NY

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60-plus Year Member John Dorsett
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By KFD Website Committee
June 2, 2023

It is with deep regret that the Katonah Fire Department announces the passing of Ex Rescue Company Lieutenant John Dorsett. John Dorsett was a member of the Katonah Fire Department for over 64 years. John did a little bit of everything in his life which was full of dedication and community service. John served in the U.S. Army and the Air Force National Guard, he went to mortuary school and worked at Clark Associates of Katonah for many years.
John was a charter member of the Katonah Lions Club which played a huge role in the early establishment of Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps. John also faithfully served his community as a police officer with the Town of Bedford PD before retiring in 1985, holding the rank of Sergeant. During his time with the Bedford PD, he received a citation for his work leading to the capture of an arsonist less than 24 hours after setting a Bedford residence on fire.
That’s not the least of what John has done. In October 1959, John, along with Ernest Genett and 1st Assistant Chief James F. Lawrence, responded to a brush fire on Mt Holly Rd. Upon their arrival at the scene, Chief Lawrence and the property’s caretaker became trapped in hidden live power lines in the high grass. Heroically and bravely, John and Ernest performed an extremely dangerous rescue of Chief Lawrence and the caretaker, despite being electrocuted themselves. The caretaker survived, but sadly, despite the herculean efforts made by John and Ernest, Chief Lawrence did not survive. Later that year, the flag pole circle in the center of town was named James Lawrence Circle after a town public hearing and Town of Bedford Board approval.
Later that year, John and Ernest were honored by the NYS Fire Association for the bravery and heroism that day, a sadness that John carried with him for the rest of his life.
John was also a loving father, grandfather and so much more. He’s also the father in law of KFD Ex-Chief Greg Repp. John dedicated his life to his family and his community and was the definition of an outstanding member of the Katonah community.

Hyperlinks: John Dorsett Obituary

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Katonah Volunteer Fire Department
65 Bedford Road
Katonah, New York, 10536
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