EMS, Hunter Mountain Ski Patrol, Troy Fire and the fire department of Colonie Village mourned the loss of an icon, Chief Ronald Baker, 79, on September 4, 2020.

Baker, born in 1941 was a firefighter, paramedic, ski patroller, whitewater guide, high school teacher and coach and Fire-Rescue-EMS instructor. He made a big difference to so many in this life but his work and lessons live on with the thousands he touched.

In 1974 he began the start of a decades-long dedication to firefighting and EMS by volunteering for the Colonie Fire Department. He was a pioneer in pre-hospital EMS as he was part of the initial group of paramedics in the Albany area. His love and dedication to the fire service, EMS and education made him a natural fit to leave teaching and become the EMS coordinator for the City of Troy Fire Department. Ron integrated pre-hospital EMS into the Troy Fire Department which was no easy task, as having city fire departments provide emergency medical services was a novel idea at the time. On 9-11 Ronald Baker crewchiefed a helicopter rescue to NYC, as one of the towers was falling. He assisted in backfilling holes so USAR member could respond as part of the EMS strike teams to help cover NYC.

In keeping with Ron’s wishes and in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Ronald H. Baker to the Colonie Village Fire Co., Inc., 1631 Central Ave., Albany, NY, 12205 or Ronald H. Baker Scholarship Fund, c/o Megan Combs, 1772 Amsterdam Ave., Schenectady, NY, 12303, or Windham Mountain Ski Patrol, c/o Maggie Brabazon, 19 Resort Dr., Windham, NY, 12496.

– Fire News photo by Lori Washburn