The Bushnell’s Basin Fire Department takes great pride in its members who tirelessly serve the community as volunteer firefighters.
Among these dedicated individuals, one individual stands out for his exceptional commitment and leadership – Chief Rich Tantalo. Despite the demands of a full-time job, marriage, and raising a family, Rich has been an integral part of the department for the past 20 years, setting a remarkable example for all.
At the age of 38, Rich’s journey as a firefighter began when he was just 18, fresh out of Fairport High School. He had always dreamt of becoming a firefighter and took the first steps toward fulfilling that dream by joining the Bushnell’s Basin Fire Department Explorer Post, affiliated with the Boy Scouts, when he was 14. Even amidst the activities and sports of high school, Rich’s passion for firefighting remained strong, and he transitioned seamlessly into the ranks of the fire department at 18.
However, his involvement didn’t stop there. Rich’s desire to make a significant impact led him to pursue extensive training and knowledge in firefighting. He continuously sought opportunities to grow and improve, which soon led to him serving as Vice President and later as the President of the department when he was just 21, the youngest possible age to hold that position.
Rich’s dedication and skills did not go unnoticed, and he progressively assumed various leadership roles within the department, such as Lieutenant, Captain, Second Assistant Chief, First Assistant Chief, and finally, Chief of the Department. Through his journey, he never lost sight of the values of volunteerism and community service.
Outside of his firefighting duties, Rich’s commitment to public service extended to becoming a police officer, following in his father’s footsteps. He began his law enforcement career in Livingston County before becoming a Sheriff’s Deputy in Monroe County, where he continues to serve to this day. The same dedication he shows in the fire department is evident in his role as a law enforcement officer.
Yet, amidst all these responsibilities, Rich prioritizes his family without compromise. He shares a loving home with his wife, Andrea, and they are raising their children, Dominick and Kassidy, in Perinton. Despite his busy schedule, Rich manages to be present in his kids’ lives, actively supporting and even coaching them in their various activities.
Rich Tantalo’s ability to balance all of these significant aspects of his life is truly commendable. He serves as an inspiration not only to his fellow firefighters and law enforcement colleagues but also to the community he tirelessly protects and supports. His unwavering dedication and compassion have touched the lives of many, making him a respected figure both within the fire department and our community.
Rich’s journey as a volunteer firefighter is a testament to the spirit of selflessness and community service. He invites others to join him on this noble path, welcoming all interested individuals from the Bushnell’s Basin area to be a part of the fire department. Together, under Chief Tantalo’s guidance, they can continue to make a difference and uphold the values of service, bravery, and dedication that define the essence of the Bushnell’s Basin Fire Department.
The Bushnell’s Basin Fire Association, Incorporated, established in 1940, protects the southwest area of the Town of Perinton, New York. Seven out of ten firefighters and emergency responders are volunteers, and the Bushnell’s Basin community needs more volunteers – check them out on facebook!