110-Year-Old New Jersey Man Attributes His Longevity To His Second Family: “The Fire Department… I Met So Many Friends”

Firefighter 110 years old
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A man who has lived through three centuries.

New Jersey 110-year-old man Vincent Dransfield still lives independently in the town of Little Falls, which he has called home since 1945. Everyone who has lived for an extended period of time has their little tips and tricks, like 116-year-old Edie Ceccarelli saying “a little red wine” keeps her alive.

But given that Dransfield still operates entirely independently and still drives, the world wants to know his secrets to become a supercentenarian. Dransfield has never had any major health issues like cancer or heart disease and does not suffer from minor illnesses like headaches or backaches.

“I’ve been very, very, very lucky in my lifetime.”

He told TODAY in 2023.

Dransfield attributes his longevity to his job and pastime at the fire department. When the news outlet asked him what kept him going and gave him joy, he quickly responded with his place of work.

“The fire department… I met so many friends.”

He spent over 80 years serving his local volunteer fire department, even being the Chief at one point.

“I still wanted to work, but my wife said, it’s time for you to quit.”

After his wife passed away, he continued his work, and his firefighter team became even more of his family. His granddaughter Erica Lista noted how he spent most of his days at the fire station.

“After my grandmother passed away, that’s really what kept him going. Every day, he would go to the firehouse from 3 to 5, and all the old guys would sit there and hang out. That was like his family.”

Outside of his work, he notes that milk is the number one food that has kept him healthy. He dropped out of school at 15 to work on a dairy farm and started drinking milk supplemented with Ovaltine, still drinking it nearly daily.

“I was drinking milk and eating well because I worked on a farm. And I often go back and think they gave me a good start in life and for my bones in my body.”

Dransfield does not restrict himself otherwise with his diet and does not follow a strenuous exercise routine. He enjoys Italian food, the occasional beer, hamburgers, chocolate and other sweets. He even smoked for 20 years (great news for those who like the occasional cigarette). Dransfield often laughs at folks he sees running because his work serves as his form of exercise; he’s never been sure why other people follow such strict routines.

“I was 21 years old when I joined the fire department, and that’s the exercise I got every day — answered the fire alarms in Little Falls. I was active and ran out when the alarm went off for 40 years. Then for the next 40 years, (I continued) when I felt like it.”

That is the key right there, find something you love that keeps you active instead of busting your butt at the gym. If hearing his story doesn’t make you smile…I’m not sure what will.

Although Dransfield turned 110 a few weeks ago, this interview from this 108th birthday shows his wit and positive outlook on life. (And yes, he is still driving to the fire station today.)

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock