Senator Oberacker Bill Honoring Longtime Ulster County Volunteer First Responder Signed into Law

Memorial bridge to honor Chief John "Jody" Rossitz

ALBANY, 07/21/22 -- State Senator Peter Oberacker (R/C – Schenevus) today announced legislation he sponsored honoring longtime Ulster County volunteer firefighter and ambulance corp. member, John “Jody” Rossitz, has been signed into law.

Senator Peter Oberacker said, “Our first responders contribute so much to our communities and John ‘Jody’ Rossitz was the embodiment of the spirit and dedication that runs through all of our volunteers.  It is my humble honor to help keep Chief Rossitz’s memory alive and ensure that others know what he meant to his community and his fellow volunteer firefighters and first responders.”

Senate bill 7255 designates the bridge on State Route 28 over the Esopus Creek in the town of Shandaken as the "Chief John 'Jody' Rossitz Memorial Bridge." This bill commemorates the life of John Rossitz of Oliverea.  He served 34 years as a volunteer firefighter and as Chief of the Big Indian-Oliverea Fire Department. In 2011, he was instrumental in organizing relief efforts for the community after Hurricane Irene.  He was also an active member of both the Shandaken and Woodstock Ambulance Corps.

“Chief Rossitz also took on a number of additional responsibilities including Training Coordinator, mentoring the next generation of members.  I know as a volunteer firefighter myself, there is nothing more important than ensuring a strong future and it starts with veteran firefighters passing on their knowledge to others.  Jody truly understood all facets of what it takes to be a community hero,” added Senator Oberacker.

Chief Rossitz passed away in 2018 at the age of 59.

Companion legislation was sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.