And just like that, the Poughkeepsie FD has lost 63 years of experience in two days. The day after 43-year veteran Mike Marinucci retired, Andy Stone, a 20-year member of Group 4, retired on the same day he was hired 20 years earlier: Feb. 24.

Stone started his career as a relief man, not assigned to any particular apparatus. Over the course of time, and under the leadership of then Lt., now Captain Mike Brophy, Stone ended up being assigned to Tower Ladder 2 operating out of the Booth Hose house on Main Street. In 2013 he transferred to Engine 3 at the Hooker Avenue station where he was partnered with firefighter Chris Sekul.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison was on hand once again to take part in a retirement celebration at the PFD headquarters and thanked Andy for his twenty years of dedicated service to the City.

"Andy's career was dedicated to protecting the City of Poughkeepsie," Rolison said. "We have a department with lots of traditions and lots of bravery. That's a big deal for the City and a big deal for me. I'm honored to be able to personally thank Andy for his service."

Recalling some of the calls that he's responded to in his twenty years, two stand out. The first was an enormous blaze at the former Hudson River Psychiatric Center in Poughkeepsie and the second was when he responded in Engine 3 to an auto accident that resulted in two children, ages 6 and 7 being orphaned instantly. According to Stone and his partner, Chris Sekul, the police were chasing a wanted individual eastbound on NYS Route 44/55 in Poughkeepsie when the vehicle ran a red light and hit another vehicle broadside, killing both front seat passengers; Shawn and Patricia Wonderly. The children were hospitalized for minor injuries.

Standing in front of the fire department headquarters on Main Street, Andy Stone explained that a 20-year career was always his plan. The former head car builder for Skip Barber Racing plans to go back to working on cars and also working at a farm/inn located in northern Dutchess County.

More From Hudson Valley Post