Each year the American Legion Blanchard Post 1040 honors a firefighter of the year at their March business meeting. Each of the fire departments in the Town of Bethlehem has an opportunity to present a candidate for this award. We are proud of the Elsmere firefighters that been honored over the years. Each is listed below.

Commissioner John E. Brennan


Commissioner John E. Brennan received the Firefighter of the Year Award on March 5, 2018 at the N.A. Blanchard Post 1040. Commissioner Brennan's daughter, Lisa, accepted the award on his behalf. The letter of nomination from the Elsmere Fore Company A, Inc. reads as follows:

"When you think of the Elsmere Fire Department’s motto “The Pride of Bethlehem” you can’t help but to think of this individual, and I am proud to endorse this year’s recipient.As a member of the Elsmere Fire Department for over four decades, this individual has long exemplified a level of commitment that can serve as a model for others.He clearly recognizes the impact that Elsmere has had on his life, and has been aggressive in giving back to this department, and our community.He has been a motivating force for our department, and has balanced his family, career and community involvement, in an extraordinary manner.He personifies all that is right about the fire service.

This year’s awardee joined this department 44 years ago and began taking on leadership roles within his first year as a member, and has remained in in a leadership role for the past 43 years.He has served as Company Vice President, Company President, and then after only 10 years as a member, he was elected commissioner and has remained in that position for the past 34 years!And for the past 7 of them, has served as Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners.His commitment to serving the residents of Bethlehem goes even beyond his role as a firefighter.He currently serves as the Director of the Bethlehem Emergency Management Office, a position he has held since January 5th, 1988.His commitment to protecting lives and property is exemplary.He has also held numerous other leadership positions including Deputy Director of the Albany County Office of Emergency Management, Deputy Fire Coordinator, Albany County Fire Coordinator, and Chairman of the Albany County Local Emergency Planning Committee.Additionally, he has won many prestigious awards throughout his distinguished carrier, including Elsmere Fire Department’s Kenneth E. McNary Achievement Award.

This individual has been a strong voice and advocate for the fire services.His influential leadership has helped advance Elsmere’s mission and priorities in very specific ways for the past four decades.

As our community continues to grow, this individual recognized our need to ensure the same high level of fire protection to those emerging areas in our fire district.In 1982 he was one the commissioners who decided to purchase land on the southern portion of our district knowing that someday this area would be developed more fully and require additional fire protection.Since 1982, this individual has been a motivating force in fiscal responsibility ensuring this vision and the community’s fire protection needs would be met.Thanks to his persistence, efforts, and hard work, this vision will become a reality by the end of this year.

This individual continues to be a valued member of the Elsmere Fire Department.Outside of his annual pilgrimage to Florida, he rarely misses a day at his office, and simply put, he loves to come to the firehouse.He has a quick wit, and keeps the laughter flowing and the mood light.He is always courteous and respectful and is quick to lend a helping hand whenever one is needed.

The Elsmere Fire Department could not have achieved the level of excellence is stands for today without his unwavering dedication to his fellow residents and firefighters.It is with sincere conviction and pleasure that we enthusiastically select Jack Brennan as this year’s recipient of Firefighter of the Year."

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Fire Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Wright


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Fire Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Wright was honored at Elsmere Fire Department's Firefighter of the Year at ceremonies at the NA Blanchard Post #1040 on March 6, 2017.

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Michael L. Taylor


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Fire Police Officer Michael L. Taylor joined the Elsmere Fire Company on June 25, 1970... 

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Chief James Reagan and Firefighter James A. Trotta


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On Monday, March 2nd two Elsmere firefighters were awarded Forefighter of the Year at the N.A. Blanchard Post 1040. Chief James Reagan and Firefighter James Trotta were selected for this honor by the Elsmere Fire Company. Click the "Read More" link to see the letter of nomination....

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Lieutenant Marc F. Futia


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Lieutenant Marc F. Futia received Elsmere Fire Company's Firefighter of the Year award at a ceremony hosted by Nathaniel Adams Blanchard Post No. 1040 on March 3, 2014.

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Captain Robert C. Baldwin, Jr.


Captain Robert C. Baldwin, Jr. was honored as Elsmere Fire Company A's Firefighter of the Year at a ceremony on March 4th at the NA Blanchard Post 1040. Please click "Read More" to see comments by President John C. Murphy during the presentation of the award...

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Captain John J. Zboray


Captain John Zboray joined the Elsmere Fire Company on February 22, 1973 and became an active member on March 6 of that year.

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Wayne R. Johnson


Wayne R. Johnson joined the Elsmere Fire Company on March 24, 1961 and became an active firefighter on April 4th of that same year.

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Michael J. Cirillo


Commander Lukaschat, Invited Guests, Fellow Firefighters, It gives me great pleasure to announce the Elsmere Fire Company’s selection of Firefighter of the Year. The past couple of years we have had occasion to provide to the Legion, the selection of a member who had performed a heroic action. But that is not always the case. Many times, this award is given to someone for their contribution over the long term, or to someone who has taken on a particular cause.
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Michael C. Walsh


Only nine days later, on August 21st at about 12:30pm, Elsmere Firefighter Michael C. Walsh was leaving his neighborhood when he heard the call come out for "a man down, unknown" in his vicinity. The dispatcher said "the patient was believed to be not breathing."
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