Former West Nyack fire chief who battled cancer laid to rest

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Family, friends and firefighters said a final farewell to a man who dedicated his life to serving the Hudson Valley.

Hundreds from across Rockland County paid their respects to former West Nyack Fire Chief George Drescher.

For the past two days, firefighters, first responders, friends and family lined up for wake services for the 70-year-old who lost his battle with cancer last weekend.
Drescher spent five decades serving Rockland County. With his service, friends say he touched many lives along the way.

"Any type of chaotic situation that occurred, George was right in the middle of it," said West Nyack Fire Department Chief Christopher Reynolds referring to Drescher’s nickname, “Captain Chaos.” "You can't get a better guy than George Drescher. I mean look at his past history. A Vietnam veteran, so he fought for his country, a great family man, raised two great sons, one is currently in the United States Army."

Drescher was decorated with two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service.

Back home, he was a firefighter in Congers, Haverstraw and West Nyack, where he served twice as chief.

"George was the type of guy that you can go to him for anything and no matter what the problem or issue was, he would always find a reason to solve that. He's just a wealth of knowledge and you can't replace that at all. It's impossible to replace," said Rockland Fire Coordinator Chris Kear.

He held many titles and positions over the years. He worked as the director of fire and industrial training at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, to West Nyack fire chief, the county’s haz-mat team, and other departments and teams.

Until his passing, Drescher served as the West Nyack safety officer and the Rockland County deputy fire coordinator.

He leaves behind a wife, two sons, family and lots of friends. The funeral Mass was held at St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Nyack. He was laid to rest in St. Anthony's Cemetery in Nanuet.

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