August 26, 2016, was a historic day for the Albany Fire Department as the first ever woman was sworn in as a Deputy Chief. Maria Walker is a 27-year veteran of the Albany Fire Department and a third generation firefighter, with her father and grandfather having served in the Buffalo Fire Department. Her father, Frank McGarry, is a former NYS Fire Administrator. Other promotions included Battalion Chief Geo Henderson, a 22-year veteran of the Albany Fire Department; Captain Richard Allan with 25 years of service; Captain Patrick Landers with 29 years of service, and is the proud father of sons Patrick Jr. and Mitchell who followed in their father’s footsteps . Captain Fred Peters is a 25-year veteran of the department. His father Fred ‘Fritz’ Peters is retired Master Mechanic Fred Peters, Sr. Lieutenant Michael Lee is a 24 year veteran of the department and has received several citations and awards during his career. Lieutenant Eric Johnson is a 22-year veteran and a member of the Fire Department’s Honor Guard. Eric was awarded the Firefighter of the Year Award in May 2016. Lieutenant John Tidings is an 18-year veteran of the department. John’s late father was an Albany fireman, and he is also brother to the late Deputy Chief David Tidings. John is also the President of the AFD Brothers Keeper Foundation.
– Fire News photos by Tom Heffernan