Chief James Reagan and Firefighter James A. Trotta

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....

Dear Commander Martelle,

Thank you for again sponsoring the Annual Awards Ceremony,  providing the opportunity for Bethlehem emergency services organizations to recognize those who distinguished themselves in 2014. The      Elsmere Fire Company has selected two individuals for firefighter of the year honors for their life saving efforts in2014.

                On March 5, 2014, five men from Brooklyn New York became separated and lost while snowmobiling in the Adirondacks near Speculator. It was late afternoon on a day when temperatures were expected to drop to 17 below zero overnight. With no snowmobiling experience and no training in working in extreme cold weather they were unaware of the dangers involved. They were not properly dressed and had not considered the absence of cell phone service. Elsmere firefighter of the year candidate #1, who has a camp in the area, was out for a solo, late day snowmobile ride when he came upon one of the lost men. Despite a significant language barrier, it was determined that all of the sleds were stuck in the snow at various locations. The other 4 individuals were located and their machines were put back in operation. It took several hours of intensive labor but in the end all 5 men were escorted safely back to the snowmobile rental facility. An employee of the rental facility stated they would not have gone looking for the men until the next morning. Their savior is 25 year Elsmere firefighter and retired New York State Police trooper, James Trotta.  For 17 years of his 25 year tenure with Elsmere Jim has held civil offices; 12 years as a Director and 5 years as Company President. He remains a class A firefighter, member of our competitive drill team and currently holds the position of District Quartermaster.

 On May 21, 2014 a woman shopping at Lowes in Glenmont experienced cardiac arrest. A group of people had gathered, but nothing was being done to help her. Elsmere candidate #2, shopping for birdseed and light bulbs, came on the scene and determined that the woman had no pulse and was not breathing. CPR was started and after 2 minutes, the woman’s pulse returned and she started breathing. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive the woman suffered yet another cardiac arrest and CPR was again administered until the paramedics arrived and were able to transport the individual to the hospital. Forty year Elsmere member, Chief James Reagan, is credited with saving the woman’s life. Jim has held elected positions for 24 of his 40 years of service: 2 as Company Vice President, 11 years in Company line offices, 9 as Assistant Chief, and is currently serving his 4th year as Chief of the Department. As a long time paramedic, Jim has been credited with saving several lives using CPR. Jim has been the recipient of many awards over the years including Firefighter of the Year in 1998.

 We are proud to present these distinguished gentlemen to you for consideration.

  Firematically Yours,

 Elsmere Fire Company A 

(Note: Firefighter Trotta is fifth from right, and Chief Reagan is sixth from right in the photo)