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Saratoga County Fire Coordinator says goodbye after 29 years of service

Ed Tremblay walking towards his family on his final day as the Saratoga County Fire Coordinator
Aaron Shellow-Lavine
Ed Tremblay walking towards his family on his final day as the Saratoga County Fire Coordinator

Saratoga County officials and first responders gathered in Ballston Spa today to honor the retiring fire coordinator.

“It’s not said enough, but thank you. To all the fire, EMS, and law enforcement out there, be safe, take care of each other and we’ll see you at the pool,” said Tremblay.

After 29 years of service, Ed Tremblay signed off as the Saratoga County Fire Coordinator for the last time Thursday morning.

First, Tremblay was honored by dozens of county officials for his dedication to community safety.

Tremblay helped guide emergency services through the occasional tornado, annual ice storms, as well as Hurricane Sandy.

Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chair Phil Barrett was one of the well-wishers.

“I didn’t realize Ed had a love for water, you know we are looking for lifeguards,” said Barrett.

“I look really good in a Speedo,” joked Tremblay.

Barrett made sure to acknowledge Tremblay’s legacy, which he says will last far into the future.

“And it’s more than just his service to the county and his community working in the fire service with all of you and the initiatives that he’s brought forward at the county. But he’s also been a tremendous mentor and we see that with many of the young firefighters that come after him,” said Barrett.

While Tremblay plans on taking retirement one day at a time, he’s still going to be involved in the county’s Fire Investigations team and will remain active with the West Crescent Fire Department. He will be replaced by Emergency Services Specialist Mike Stanley.

As far as what he’ll miss about work?

“I think everything. I mean just meeting people. Unfortunately a lot of times meeting people in really hard times, stressful times and stuff. But there’s also a lot of background behind that as far as when it’s not stressful times. I got out of it as much as I could,” said Tremblay.

Steve Bonesteel is a former West Crescent Fire Chief and says there isn’t a person in the county’s fire service who will soon forget Tremblay’s generosity and kindness.

“He’s always been a mentor since I was younger. I joined the fire service at 17, same fire department he belonged to, he was currently the chief when I joined. And he helped me with my children, he was in my wedding. He’s always been there for me and my family. Outstanding guy, top-notch and definitely doesn’t ever want a big deal made of him but he makes a big deal of everybody else,” said Bonesteel.

Tremblay also helped establish the county’s HazMat team in 1999, and facilitated the construction of a burn building in 2001 as well as its replacement set to be constructed next year.

Tremblay’s sister Susan Katz says her brother’s retirement is well earned.

“When he first joined the volunteer firefighters at 16 our parents needed to sign off on that. And they, both my father and my mother, both asked him, ‘you know if you do this you’ve got to stick with it?’ And so here it is—he was 16 at the time—So here it is 45 years later, he’s still doing it. He said he would and he did,” said Katz.

A retirement party for Tremblay is scheduled Saturday at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds.