firefighters | WAMC


New Decontamination Protocols Reduce Firefighters’ Exposure to Toxic Contaminants by 85 Percent
Chet Lasell

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control has begun a new statewide effort to reduce the cancer risk to firefighters and their families.

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.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Fire departments across New York will open their doors this weekend for a statewide recruiting effort.

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. 

“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

New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer stopped by Troy's Central Fire Station on Monday to promote legislation that would create the first ever national firefighter cancer registry, along with three major grants for the Collar City's fire crews. 

Congressman Richard Neal meets with Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger Monday.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Congressman Richard Neal was in Great Barrington today to celebrate a federal grant upgrading the town’s firefighting equipment.


New York state is making a new investment in helping first responders train for oil fires.


Federal funding is headed to first responders in two locations in Westchester County.

A federal investigation into the death of a Hartford firefighter during a house blaze last October has found that a low-air alarm on his breathing tank failed a test after the fire, but Hartford officials say the alarm activated.

A medical examiner concluded 48-year-old Kevin Bell died because his tank ran out of air. He was the first Hartford firefighter to die in the line of duty in four decades.


A New York congressman is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help fend off layoffs of a dozen firefighters in a Hudson Valley city.

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has written to FEMA asking for expedited approval of a grant application from the Newburgh Fire Department. The money would come from the Firefighters Grant Program known as SAFER, or the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program. Maloney says that without approval of the grant, the fire department will have to lay off 12 firefighters at the end of the year.

Facebook: City of Hartford Fire Department

The funeral for a Connecticut firefighter who died in the line of duty is expected to draw scores of firefighters from across the region.

Structures used for firefighter training at the Springfield Fire Training Center

A new training facility for firefighters is under construction in western Massachusetts.  The new center will bring the resources of the state’s Department of Fire Services to area fire departments that depend on volunteer or on-call firefighters.

     The new state - of- the -art center under construction in Springfield will be the western Massachusetts base for all of the resources of the state Department of Fire Services. It includes training, code enforcement, and arson investigations, according to state Fire Marshall Stephen Coan.


Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs has been awarded nearly one-and-a-half million dollars for research into the medical cause of cardiac deaths among firefighters.

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:

Newburgh Receives Money To Hire Firefighters

Sep 20, 2013

A Hudson Valley city will receive more than $2 million to hire firefighters.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A New York state senator from the Hudson Valley is calling on the governor to sign legislation concerning the children of 9/11 firefighters.  

Republican state Senator Greg Ball is urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill into law that he says would help children of firefighters who died as a result of illnesses from response to and recovery efforts from the September 11th terrorist attacks.