BY BILL DEMAREST
VALLEY COTTAGE – Residents of Valley Cottage and members of the Rockland County firefighting community today are mourning the loss of Clarkstown Fire Inspector Vincent Narciso of Valley Cottage, who has died at age 56.
In addition to his work with the Town of Clarkstown, Mr. Narciso was a longtime volunteer firefighter. He was a life-member of the Valley Cottage Fire Department and was an honorary life-member of the Rockland Lake Fire Department. He had joined Rockland Lake’s Knickerbocker Engine Co. No. 1 in 1980 and served as fire chief from 1986 to 1988.
He became a member of the nearby Valley Cottage Fire Department in 1990.
Mr. Narciso was a lifelong Rockland County resident and was a graduate of Nyack High School. He began his career with the Town of Clarkstown in November 1987, when he was hired as an assistant mechanic in the Sewer Department. In 1994, Mr. Narsico moved to the Building Department, where he became an assistant fire safety inspector.
Mr. Narciso became head of the town’s fire inspection team in March 2010.
Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack said Mr. Narsico was dedicated to his family and the community, serving the town as a public employee and as an active volunteer firefighter.
“He certainly the epitome of someone who was dedicated to his community,” said Gromack.
Mr. Narciso was also the father-in-law of the late-Army Spc. Justin Garcia, the husband of his daughter, Michelle. Spc. Garcia, 26, was killed in 2006 while serving in Iraq. He died when an improvised explosive devise hit the Humvee he was aboard in Baghdad.
“Vincent Narciso was dedicated to his family and he was there for them,” Gromack said.
As head of the town’s fire inspection team, Gromack said Mr. Narciso ran one of the busiest operations of its kind in Rockland County, overseeing fire safety issues at some of the county’s largest developments – including the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack and the new Shops at Nanuet, which replaced the Nanuet Mall.
Gromack said a hallmark of the town’s fire inspection team has been its responsiveness to the community and developers involved in projects big and small.
Valley Cottage Fire Chief Howard Gerber, who is also a Clarkstown town judge, said Mr. Narciso was well-liked in the community and within the volunteer fire service during his many years as a volunteer. Gerber recalled days years ago when both he and Mr. Narsico were rising through the ranks in their professions and they would work together in Clarkstown Town Court – Gerber as a deputy town attorney and Mr. Narsico as a deputy fire inspector.
Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services Director Gordon Wren Jr. described Mr. Narciso as an active leader in the Rockland County fire service who was also a leader in fire safety efforts in the county. Wren described Mr. Narciso and his assistants in Clarkstown as prime examples of professionalism and dedication.
Wren said that Mr. Narciso had a very challenging role in Clarkstown, with the most commercial buildings in Rockland County, requiring many inspections and dealing with issues such as problems with fire alarm systems.
Joseph DePalma, the Valley Cottage Fire Department’s president, who is also Mr. Narciso’s brother-in-law, said Mr. Narsico fell ill suddenly and died at while at the hospital. While Mr. Narciso had previous heart problems, but DePalma said he did not have any recent health issues.
DePalma said arrangements have not yet been completed, but tentative arrangements call for:
– Calling hours: 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday at Higgins Funeral Home, 321 S. Main St., New City.
– Firematic service: 8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
– Funeral: St. Paul’s Church, Lake Road, Congers, 10 a.m. Monday
Republished: Nyack Free Press