COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Captain Otto Madsen took his last ride after 28 years of service at the Cohoes Fire Department. Madsen began his career in July 1994, serving as the EMS Coordinator for 20 years. The Uniform Fire Fighters of Cohoes held a walkout ceremony for Captain Madsen this morning, celebrating his accomplishments and commitment to service. 

“Did a lot as Union treasurer for many years, many roles, many committees but as Captain, Lieutenant, there’s a lot of years of experience out the door,” Robert Wattsman, President of the Uniform Fire Fighters of Cohoes, said.

Captain Madsen reflected on his career and the family he found through public service: “It’s a unique career, when you get into fire service it becomes a way of life,” Madsen said. “You end up with two families, you have your fire service family and your home family, it’s like leaving a part of the family but I’ll always be around.”

His advice for people looking to follow in his footsteps: always keep learning. “Be careful, be wise, stay focused with what the goal of the job is and always strive to learn,” Madsen said.

Even retired, Madsen will still serve his community as a Director of Training and Education for Mohawk Ambulance Service and Fire Coordinator with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. “It gives us an opportunity to take our knowledge and our experience and bring it into the new generation and that’s where I plan to stay for as long as they’ll have me,” Madsen said.