Sierra Madre Chamber of
Commerce Installation Dinner/37th Annual Citizen of the Year Banquet
William D. Messersmith aka "Fireman Bill"
Bill Messersmith was born at St. Luke's Hospital in Pasadena on January 4, 1950 and has lived in Sierra Madre all of his life. Bill attended the Sierra Madre Nursery School, Sierra Madre Elementary School, Wilson Junior High School, Pasadena High School and Pasadena City College.
Bill delivered newspapers, was the projectionist at the Sierra Madre Theater, worked part time at Al Foxton's Chevron Gas Station, at Bill Birgensmith's Union 76 Gas Station and was a dispatcher for the Sierra Madre Police Department while attending school. He has worked for the Pasadena Unified School District as a Studio Technician for their Television Facility, and a systems engineer for The Motown Record Corporation. Bill was with Trans American Video in Hollywood for twenty years, starting as an engineer and advancing to Chief Engineer and upon leaving TAV was the Vice-President and General Manager. After leaving TAV, Bill was with The Fox Television Network for five years and now is self-employed as a freelance broadcast television engineer, which provides the ability for him to spend more time with his grandchildren.
Bill joined the Sierra Madre Fire Department in April of 1971. However, his fascination with the fire service started much earlier in life when he would ride his bicycle to fires so he could watch the firefighters, and if there was a fire while he was working at the theater he would run to the fire station to open the doors and hang the blackboard in front of the building with the address. He is a state certified Firefighter 1, Apparatus Operator lA & 18, EMT-1D/AA and holds the rank of Engineer. Bill is authorized by the Department of Motor Vehicles to perform the examinations for Commercial Class 8 Drivers Licenses (required for fire engines).
Bill has been the president of the Sierra Madre Volunteer Firefighters' Association since 1992 and was instrumental in incorporating the association as a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation during his first term. The firefighters' association is autonomous from the Fire Department and the City of Sierra Madre and functions as the philanthropic arm of the firefighters to benefit the fire service and the community.
Bill also serves as a co-chair on the Committee For Volunteers and also as a Deputy Director with the California State Firefighters Association. Bill is the Alternate Delegate from California to the National Volunteer Fire Council. He served as a member of the committee to study the formation of a community foundation in Sierra Madre and has served on the board and as secretary of the Sierra Madre Community Foundation since it was formed in June 2000.
Bill is married to Sue and they have two married adult children, Julie and David. Julie married Bob Manuel; they live in La Verne and have two children, David (11) and Amy (7). Julie used to work as a legal secretary and is now very busy being mom and with PTA serving as President. David married Karyl; they live in Cathedral City and have two children, Jessica (10) and Jacob (8). David is a career firefighter for the City of PaIm Springs and holds the rank of Captain.
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