Albany Fire Department | WAMC

Albany Fire Department

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan addresses reporters gathered at the Port of Albany as Senator Chuck Schumer and others look on.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer joined city officials Friday for the unveiling of a new mobile training trailer for the Albany Fire Department.

Many residents were displaced, the Times Union reports one civilian was injured in the Quail Street fire.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Two weekend fires in Albany destroyed multiple buildings and left more than two dozen families homeless. 

Albany Fire Chief Joe Gregory with Mayor Kathy Sheehan in the City Hall Rotunda, August 17, 2018
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan swore in Joseph Gregory as Fire Chief this morning.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan & Albany Fire Chief Warren Abriel address the media in City Hall. (July 18, 2017)
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany said goodbye to its second public safety leader in as many days...  the city’s fire chief was given a walkout ceremony Friday.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany officials anticipate a seamless transfer of power following last week's announcement that Fire Chief Warren Abriel is retiring at the end of the month.

Chief Warren Abriel Jr. takes a look back at the History of the AFD
Composite Image by Dave Lucas

The Albany Fire Department is one of the nation's oldest professional departments. This year, it celebrates its 150th anniversary.  Chief Warren Abriel Jr., a 45-year veteran of the Albany Fire Department, addressed a crowd Wednesday night at City Hall.

Senator Chuck Schumer
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

And now an update to a story we broadcast early last month: A federal grant that will enable the Albany Fire Department to purchase a state-of the art mobile fire training center has come through. 

Earlier this week, Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden and Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy promoted the “Sound The Alarm” to install 1,000 free smoke alarms across the tri-cities Oct. 14.

Four Civil War-era homes have been torn down and a relief effort for displaced residents has begun after a fire ripped through a block of row houses in Albany's Center Square neighborhood.

Schumer, during a recent visit to Engine 10 on Brevator Street, pushed for the center.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday announced more than $426,000 in federal funding for the Albany Fire Department.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan & Albany Fire Chief Warren Abriel address the media in City Hall. (July 18, 2017)
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A Monday night fire in Albany's Center Square neighborhood has destroyed several historic buildings and displaced residents.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was at Engine 10 in Albany today to push for grant money to buy a state-of the art mobile fire training center.

Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan with City of Albany officials held a press conference reminding residents about the legality of fireworks in Albany.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Heading toward Independence day, officials in the city of Albany are promoting fireworks safety.

“I became a firefighter because my father said, ‘Give it a try,’... the best advice he ever gave me, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had.” ~ Deputy Chief Maria Walker
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

In August, Captain Maria Walker was promoted to Deputy Chief, the highest rank ever held by a woman in the Albany Fire Department. She is a third generation firefighter, following her grandfather, Frank J. McGarry, and her father, Frank A. McGarry, who both served as firefighters in the Buffalo Fire Department. Walker recently sat down with WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas to discuss her new rank.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Albany is bolstering its fire department with federal funds.

City of Albany / Facebook

Robert Forezzi Sr. served as Albany's Fire Chief from 2006 to 2013. A city native, Forezzi worked for the department for nearly four decades, primarily at the Midtown Station.

WAMC Composite Photo by Dave Lucas

A tanker truck that had just taken on a full load of gasoline caught fire on Interstate 787 this morning.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Albany Firefighters have overwhelmingly ratified an agreement its leadership negotiated with Mayor Kathy Sheehan that would maintain full-staffing and apparatus, including the South End-based Ladder 1. 

Firefighters Union president Bob Powers says his group worked cooperatively with the city to identify ways to recover costs for critical advance life support services and ensure minimum staffing levels across Albany.

The Rescue Of Ladder 1

Oct 23, 2014
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

It is being hailed  as a "win-win" for citizens and government: the final curtain in Albany's "battle to save Ladder 1." 

In an effort to balance her 2015 budget, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan proposed shaving a million dollars in annual expenses by eliminating Ladder 1 from service in the South End, where it would be first responder to any oil train disaster. Firefighters and their union were up in arms.   "The South Station will remain open."   

Play Safe-Be Safe Aims To Educate On Fire Safety

Oct 23, 2014
Jim Levulis / WAMC


“Don’t play with matches!”

It was the first and foremost safety rule we learned as children, but almost 45,000 fires in the United States were set by children in 2010. Tomorrow at the Pineview Community Church in Albany, teachers, parents, day-care providers and others will learn how to teach children about fire safety. Doctor Robert Cole will present a “Play Safe-Be Safe” workshop. Dr. Cole, president of the Fireproof Children Company of Rochester, says “don’t play with matches” is still important.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany firefighters, incensed over Mayor Kathy Sheehan's budget proposal that would eliminate Ladder 1, have kicked their public awareness campaign to save the company up a few notches.

On October 1st, Mayor Sheehan released her 2015 spending plan for the city. Her plans to shutter Ladder 1, located near the Port of Albany and neighborhoods bordering tracks used by "oil trains," did not go over well with firefighters.

The firefighters, who last year responded to more than 22,000 calls for help, fear taking Ladder 1 out of service will imperil the entire city.

The first budget address of Kathy Sheehan's mayoral career was themed "Building a bridge to a stronger future."  Albany firefighters see that span as skipping over an entire neighborhood.

Both Mayor Sheehan and her appointed Fire Chief Warren Abriel were heckled and"booed" by firefighters when they announced the fire truck at Ladder 1 would be taken out of service during the budget presentation Wednesday.

Sheehan said " The South Station will remain open."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The mayors of Albany,  Schenectady and Troy released their 2015 budget proposals Wednesday. Tri-city residents are in for higher taxes. 

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

There’s another new face in Albany city government:  at City Hall today Mayor Kathy Sheehan swore in a new Albany Fire Chief.


For years, the city of Albany has promised to increase the number of minorities in the fire department. But many, including one local activist, say little progress has been made.

Outgoing Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings made headlines after he intervened in a case involving an African-American man who was disqualified from a firefighting job on what some call "ridiculously trivial grounds."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Sixteenth Annual New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony was held Tuesday at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. 

This year’s ceremony honored nine New York State firefighters who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

With the addition of this group of nine fallen firefighters, the state’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial now contains the names of 2,381 firefighters who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. This year’s additions are:

Albany Damien Center Fire Has Officials Scrambling

Aug 29, 2013

A fire at Albany’s Damien Center early (this)/Thursday morning has officials scrambling to find a temporary home.

Albany Fire Department received a call around 6 a.m. from passersby who saw flames in the building on South Lake Avenue. An hour later, the basement fire was under control, although Deputy Chief Frank Merney says the building suffered “quite a bit” of damage.

The Damien Center serves people with HIV and AIDS. Executive Director Perry Junjulas says the next step is finding a temporary location.