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.

Past Chief Edward J. 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.
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Chief William H. Webb, Jr.


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.
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Ariel L. 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.
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Peter Degnan


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.
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Chief William H. Webb, Jr.


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?
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Chief Kevin M. 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.
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Simon G. 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.
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Lieutenant Frank Wickham


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.

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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.

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Past Chief Kenneth E. McNary


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.
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