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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ex-Scotia Fire Chief Appointed as Schenectady County’s Upcoming Fire Coordinator

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SCHENECTADY — After dedicating over four decades ‍of his life to ‌first response ‍services, Kenneth Almy retired‍ as the chief of the Scotia Fire⁢ Department in 2022. However, his journey of service is far from over. He is now set to take ⁣on the role of the new fire coordinator of⁣ Schenectady County.

On Monday, ‌the county Legislature’s Firefighting and EMS Committee moved forward with a resolution to appoint Almy to the position, effective from Feb. 14. Since his retirement from the Scotia department in March 2022, Almy has been serving as the county’s deputy fire coordinator.

“Kenneth ‌has been a vital asset ‍to our office. He hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped since,” said Mark LaViolette, the county’s director of ‍emergency management. “I fully support his appointment.

Almy is set to succeed Scott Pike,⁣ who is retiring after a career spanning over ​two decades in emergency management, including a five-year tenure ⁤as fire coordinator. This‍ role​ involves ⁤overseeing key services ⁤such as the⁣ county’s fire radio system, mutual aid, and hazardous and⁢ mass casualty response.

“Scott’s‌ significant contributions, particularly in managing crucial training programs, the Hazardous Materials ‌Response Team, County Fire Mutual⁣ Aid Program, and the County ​Mass Casualty Incident⁢ Response Plan, have made a lasting ⁢impact,” said Anthony Jasenski, chair of the Firefighting and ⁤EMS Committee. “As he ⁤steps into retirement, we wish ⁢him all the best and are confident that Kenneth Almy is the perfect candidate to continue this legacy of exceptional ⁣service.”

The full Legislature is anticipated to approve Almy’s ‍appointment during​ its meeting on Feb.‍ 13. The fire coordinator position comes with an annual salary of $72,527.

Almy’s journey in⁤ public service ‍began in 1981 as a tech⁢ sergeant with‍ the 139th Aeromedical‍ Evacuation Flight ⁤of ‌the New York​ Air National Guard.⁣ He then served as​ an EMT supervisor with Mohawk Ambulance Service from 1982 for ⁣nine years.

In 1987,‌ Almy ‍spent two years as a road patrol⁣ deputy with the Schenectady ⁢County Sheriff’s Office, before ⁤embarking on ‍a career spanning over 30 years with the Scotia Fire Department in ⁣1989.

Almy retired in 2022, following a heartfelt walkout ceremony, where he likened the department’s members‌ to his own family.

“They say you know when it’s time to retire,” he shared with The Daily Gazette ⁤at the time. “It’s time.”

However, on Monday, Almy expressed his excitement about the new opportunity and ‍his commitment to enhancing safety ⁣for first​ responders and residents.

“I thought I was going to retire​ but things just keep ⁣calling you,” he told‌ lawmakers. “This ⁢is a final, good place to be. I want safety for ⁢the first⁣ responders⁣ out there. I want better ⁢communication. I want us to work better as a team, and I certainly want‌ to ‌protect the residents of this fine county.”

As Almy prepares to assume the fire coordinator position, many departments across the county are grappling⁢ with challenges‍ in recruiting and⁢ retaining volunteers, and ​career departments ‍are struggling to fully staff their ranks.

Several municipalities, including Schenectady County, have ​passed legislation extending tax exemptions for⁣ volunteer firefighters and​ ambulance workers.

This issue⁣ has resulted in longer response times in some parts of the county and ⁤increased reliance on mutual aid.

Gary Hughes,⁣ chair of the county Legislature, established the Firefighting and EMS‍ Committee to ⁣devise ‍strategies to ‍tackle this issue in ⁢the future.

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Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres, a native of Schenectady, has returned to his hometown after several years of reporting in the Midwest. A graduate of Missouri School of Journalism, Alex is known for his empathetic approach to local news, covering everything from community events to local governance, always with an aim to bridge diverse perspectives.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Great choice for the fire coordinator position! This experienced former Scotia Fire Chief will bring valuable expertise and leadership to Schenectady County.

  2. Uncaring: Not familiar with either of these individuals, but I hope the appointment leads to positive changes for the county’s fire services.

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