Chief Edward J. Costigan

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.

Evacuations of the area and civilian accountability efforts were also put into action. Fire risk was evaluated because of the potential for natural gas and electrical emergencies. Special dispatch assignments were planned bringing in other town fire and EMS agencies, and several informational meetings were held. Chief Costigan also developed a mutual aid plan with the City of Albany Fire Department realizing the loss of water and access to the lower portion of the Elsmere Fire District was a possibility. On site staging and command areas were established. The New York State Urban Search and Rescue Team was put on notice in the event of a sudden collapse trapping civilians and firefighters. New York State Department of Transportation was contacted and the old bridge in Normansville was inspected and made accessible for emergency use.

With the coordination between agencies, and the hundreds of hours of planning for a worst case scenario, Chief Costigan made sure that the residents and businesses of the Elsmere Fire District never received anything less than 100 percent of dedicated protection from the Elsmere Fire Company. It is because of this loyalty, dedication and attention to detail that the members of the Elsmere Fire Company “A” Incorporated, nominate Chief Edward "Ned" Costigan as Fireman of the Year.