David Bianchi wore many hats during his life: father, Navy seaman, grandfather, insurance adjuster, restaurant owner. However, the one Longboat Key residents may remember him for is firefighter and paramedic. Bianchi was the town’s youngest volunteer firefighter as well as its last. He spent nearly 50 years of his life on Longboat Key and died on Jan. 13 at age 78.
David Bianchi moved to Longboat Key in 1958 when he was 14 and his father became building inspector to the newly established town of Longboat Key. Shortly after that, he wanted to give back to his community and began volunteering as a firefighter. He fought the many brush fires on the island alongside more experienced men and got paid “$3 a blaze,” daughter Michelle Bianchi said.