Fire Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Wright

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.

Steve joined the Department in July 1975. He has been very involved over the course of his 42 year career. On May 11, 2002 Steve received recognition for his involvement in the 9/11 World Trade Center response. He chaired the Company's Hudson Mohawk Volunteer Firemen's Association Convention in 1992, and the joint Hudson Mohawk Volunteer Firemen's Association / Albany County Volunteer Firemen's Association Convention in 2004. While remaining an active member, he received Life Membership in the Elsmere Fire Company in August of 2000. In 1995, Steve was awarded the Kenneth E. McNary Achievement Award in 1995.

Steve is a member of a number of volunteer firefighter organizations. He served as Property Clerk from April 1979 through April 1983, Vice-President from April 1983 through April 1984 and again from January 1998 through January 1999. He was again elected Vice-President from January 2016 to January 2017. Steve served as President of the Elsmere Fire Company from April 1984 through April 1990, and from January 2000 through January 2002. He also served as a Director from April 1995 through April 1998.

Most recently, Steve has served and continues to serve as Lieutenant of the Fire Police Unit. He has held this rank continuously since January 2009.

This level of involvement easily explains why Steve was selected as Firefighter of the Year, and is well deserving of this recognition. The nominating letter appears below:

March 6, 2017

Commander Scott Anson

Nathaniel Adams Blanchard Post 1040

16 West Poplar Drive

Delmar, New York 12054

Commander Anson:

I, along with the rest of the members of the Elsmere Fire Company would like to thank our friends at the Nathaniel Adams Blanchard Post 1040 for once again providing us with the opportunity to recognize an outstanding member of Bethlehem’s Emergency Services.Throughout the year the members of the Legion support us and their community in countless ways, and for that, they forever have our friendship and gratitude.We are truly blessed to have such good neighbors.

This year it is my distinct honor to acknowledge a member who first joined Elsmere before many in this room were even born. To put things into perspective, the year this member joined, Saturday Night Live debuted, Ali beat Fraser in the “Thriller in Manila” and the song “Low Rider” was just starting to climb the charts.It is surprising we have records dating back this far, however, it should be noted that shortly after this member joined he soon rose to various elected positions within the Company and ultimately serving as President of Elsmere for close to a decade – a feat almost unheard of in Elsmere’s long history.Between responding to hundreds of emergency calls, this member also served as a Property Clerk, Vice-President, and Director of the Company.He has worn many hats and helmets, and each time has done so with distinction.

In 1992 and again in 2004 he was the Chairman of the Hudson-Mohawk Volunteer Firefighters Association Convention.He was recognized in 2002 for his service in response to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and also received the Ken McNary and Kevin M. Shea awards.For the past 9 years he has served as Fire Police Lieutenant and has done an outstanding job keeping the public and his fellow firefighters safe.This firefighter has dedicated his life to caring for his brothers and sisters in the fire service, and that is perhaps his greatest accomplishment.

You see, in addition to all of his firematic achievements and accomplishments, this man possesses another trait which sets him apart -- his acts of kindness and generosity, which are on a monumental scale.Each of us has witnessed his grace and courage on an individual and frequent basis, particularly when it comes to our most senior firefighters.He has taught us to “never forget” them and always honor them for their past service.We have lost many brothers over the past decade, and this past year has been particularly difficult, however, in each case, this year’s recipient has always ensured that our departed members and their families were looked after.He keeps in touch with our aging members and their families in their times of need, and always remembers milestones in their lives and pays special tribute to them.He personally invites them to all of our special events, and arranges transportation for them and their families.He shares with us many words of wisdom, including recently telling one of our members, “don’t wait.”Don’t wait to make a difference in someone’s life, do it now before it’s too late.Those words resonate with all of us, and he continues to mentor and inspire all of us who are fortunate enough to serve with him.

A few years ago, he chaired and organized an “Old Timers Night” to honor, reflect upon, and recognize many of our senior members.These members told us how special an evening it was for them and how it made them feel wanted and a valuable part of the department.Many of these members have since passed away, but this year’s recipient will always remain a hero to them and a mentor to us.Not every day offers a chance to save someone’s life, but every day offers us an opportunity to affect one.This is the philosophy that embodies this year’s recipient.This is why many of the current programs and awards in place at Elsmere exist today.He organized and created them when he was president and each day reminds us to “Never Forget” those that have come before us, and those that stand beside us.

For all of these reasons, and countless more, it is with great honor that I enthusiastically and wholeheartedly nominate Lt. Steve Wright as this year’s Firefighter of the Year.

Respectfully submitted,

John Murphy                                                                               Frank Wickham

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