Chatham firefighters honored for heroic actions during fatal 2018 fire


The Village of Chatham, Mayor John Howe’s Office and Fire Commissioner Melony Spock, in conjunction with the Village of Chatham Department of Fire release the following announcement:

On June 8, 2019 four Chatham Firefighters were honored by the American Legion, Department of New York District 3, as the District 3 Firefighting Unit of the Year.

Mayor John Howe accompanied Chief Paul Rideout, 1st Assistant Chief Eric Barnes and Firefighters Greg and Alex Horst to the Joseph E. Zaloga Post #1520, 4 Everett Rd. Albany, NY for the ceremony.

The firefighters were awarded Certificates of Distinction, which were presented by Department Commander Gary M. Schacher, and Law and Order Committee Chairman Jeffrey French.

The honors come following similar honors in 2018 from the American Legion in Columbia County for heroic actions taken by the Chatham Firefighters during fatal fire on Mother’s Day 2018.

On May 13, 2018 at approximately 8:30 am the Chatham Fire Department responded to a fire at the Chatham Manor (an apartment building for older and/or disabled residents), School St. in the Village of Chatham. Firefighters discovered heavy fire and blinding smoke throughout the building. Chiefs Rideout and Barnes advanced a hose line into an apartment to extinguish the heavy fire and attempt to rescue trapped victims.

Firefighters Alex and Greg Horst entered the building, located a wheelchair bound trapped victim. While working as a team, these firefighters along with the help and coordination of several other brave firefighters were able to not only rescue this severely injured victim, but two additional victims in other rooms that had become trapped due to the heavy smoke condition.

Mayor John Howe is quoted “the residents of the Village of Chatham are very lucky to have such a dedicated and well trained group of volunteers that risk their lives all while leaving their own families home. This group of firefighters went above and beyond this day, but it is what they and all of our volunteers do for the better of our communities’ everyday”.

Chief Paul Rideout is quoted as saying “although we are very honored to receive this award, this was a team effort. I am extremely proud of all of our firefighters. I thank all of our volunteers that respond every time the alarm rings.”

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