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.

Michael L. Taylor


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

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....

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.

Captain Robert C. Baldwin, Jr.


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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...

Captain John J. Zboray


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

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.

Michael J. Cirillo


ffy_2010_michael_crillo 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.

Michael C. Walsh


ffy_2009_michael_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."

Past Chief Edward J. Costigan


ffy_2009_edward_costigan On August 12th, mid-morning, Elsmere Firefighter and Past Chief Edward (Ned) J. Costigan took quick action to assist victims of a motor vehicle accident and revive an elderly patient using CPR while on vacation at Saranac Lake.

Chief William H. Webb, Jr.


ffy_2008_william_webb Chief Webb joined the Elsmere Fire Company as a firefighter on June 27, 1985. He was elected Fire Company Treasurer in October 1987. He served as a Fire Lieutenant from April 1989 through April 1995. In April 1995, he was elected to the position of Fire Captain. He served in this capacity until December 1997. Chief Webb was elected 2nd Assistant Chief in December 1997 and served in that capacity until December 2003, when he was promoted to the rank of 1st Assistant Chief. In February 2004, he was elected to fill the position of Chief, left vacant by the untimely line of duty death of Chief Kevin M. Shea. Chief Webb continues to serve as the Department's Chief. Chief Webb is a member of the Elsmere FAST Team and chairs the Fire Company's popular Fish Fry Dinner Committee, which many residents of the Town enjoy on four Friday evenings during February and March. He is also trained in Hazardous Materials Incident Command.

Ariel L. Goodrich


ffy_2007_ariel_goodrich The Elsmere Fire Co. A, Inc. is proud to recognize Ariel Goodrich as Firefighter of the Year. A 13-Year veteran of the Fire Company, Ariel served for 10 years as the Fire Police Lieutenant. He is a quiet and unassuming person always at work behind the scenes of the Fire Company. He has helped to establish an administrative procedure to relieve some of the workload from the fire officers, so they can devote more time to their fire line responsibilities. He is always busy with fire reports so that the correct information is available to NYS and OFPC. He was instrumental in moving the fire reporting system and service awards records from paper to computer.

Peter Degnan


ffy_2006_peter_degnan ffy_2006_peter_degnan-2 Honored for Serving Our Nation This year's Firefighter of the Year came to us through the Albany County Legislature sponsored Recruitment and Retention committee's 24-hour hotline. With an interest in joining and taking classes, he instantly signed up as a social member 3 weeks after his high school graduation. Within the next 30 days, he spent numerous hours at the firehouse captivating everything possible. In the following month, on August 26, 1999, he became an active Elsmere firefighter.

Chief William H. Webb, Jr.


ffy_2005_william_webb With the unexpected death of Chief Kevin M. Shea just over a year ago, a leader and friend was lost. The future of the Elsmere Fire Company was unknown, and questioned by all. Who would now lead us and continue the pro-active direction established by Kevin and foster the respect needed to be the new Chief?

Chief Kevin M. Shea


ffy_2004_kevin_shea In 1992 the Elsmere Fire Company A Inc proudly nominated Kevin Shea as our choice for Fireman of the Year at the annual American Legion awards ceremony. Kevin received this honor for the many tireless hours spent as an officer in both the civil office and fire line office. Kevin was also commended for his success with the Elsmere Drill Team, which came to be known as the Blues Brothers. He was our Captain of the Drill Team and our leader on the fireground. Kevin went on to earn the coveted Kenneth E. McNary Achievement Award in 1996.

Simon G. VanRyn


ffy_2003_simon_vanryn At this years annual awards ceremony of Fireman of the Year presented by the American Legion Post, Simon Van Ryn was honored as Elsmere's nominee. Simon began his service with the Delmar Fire Department where he served for 24 years. During this time he was elected to the office of Lt and Captain. He is currently in his 24th year at Elsmere. He was a Director of the Fire Co and a longstanding member of the Elsmere Wanderer's Drill Team competing in Central New York State and Long Island Firematic competition.

Lieutenant Frank Wickham


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Honored for his work at Ground Zero Having entered the department in April 1989, Frank is now in his 13th year of service. His history of dedicated service began in the civil officer line as a property clerk in 1992. Following this he continued through the ranks being elected vice president in 1995 and 1996, until becoming President in 1998. In the year ahead Frank's firematic desire drew him towards the company fire line office, and as he completed his term as President, immediately ran for and was elected 4th Fire Lieutenant in December of 1999. Since then he has continued to advance in rank and currently holds the position of 2nd Lieutenant.

Chief Edward J. Costigan


ffy_2001_ned_costigan ffy_2001_ned_costigan-2 In the the spring of 2000 the hamlet of Elsmere was thrust into the national spotlight when the banks of the Normanskill began to slide. The landslide claimed one commercial building and threatened several others along with residential properties and the main thoroughfare between Albany and Bethlehem. With the threat of approaching storms and further movement of the landslide, the Elsmere Fire Company along with Town, County, State, and City of Albany officials were called in, and a Command Center established.

Immediately, 30-year member and Chief of the Elsmere Fire Company, Ned Costigan began evaluating the life safety and rescue issues of the disaster area.

Past Chief Kenneth E. McNary


ffy_2000_ken_mcnary ffy_2000_ken_mcnary-2 The Elsmere Fire Department is very proud this year to present a monumental candidate for the 2000 American Legion Firefighter of the year award. Beginning his fire service career on January 30, 1930, he immediately directed his goals towards advancing in a leadership position.

John R. Devine


Fire Police Officer John R. Devine was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1999

James Reagan


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James Reagan was named Firefighter of rghe Year in 1998.

Richard I. Brown


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Richard I. Brown was named Firefighter of the Year in 1997.

Ralf K. Wiegand


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Ralf K. Wiegand was named Firefighter of the Year in 1996.

Paul D. Millhausen


Paul D. Millhausen was named Firefighter of the Year in 1995.

John T. Pregent, Jr.


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John T. Pregent, Jr. was named Firefighter of the Year in 1994.

Henry Sterling


Henry Sterling was named Firefighter of the Year in 1993.

Kevin M. Shea


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Kevin M. Shea was named Firefighter of the Year in 1992.

Oliver “Ollie” Palmer


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Oliver "Ollie" Palmer was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1991.

Robert N. Irish


Robert N. Irish was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1989.

Peter G. Merrill


Peter G. Merrill was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1989.

Paul D. Millhausen


Paul D. Millhausen was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1989.

Irving “Pop” Leonard


Irving "Pop" Leonard was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1988.

Peter G. Merrill


Peter G. Merrill was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1987.

Past Chief Anthony J. Morrell


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Past Chief Anthony J. Morrell was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1986.

Past Chief George M. Kaufman


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Past Chief George M. Kaufman was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1985.

Henry J. Turner


Henry J. Turner was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1984.

Past Chief Kenneth E. McNary


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Past Chief Kenneth E. McNary was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1981.

Past Chief Frederick C. Webster


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Past Chief Frederick C. Webster was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1974.


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