COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A walk-out retirement ceremony was held for Cohoes Fire Captain William Carlson on Tuesday morning. Captain Carlson is retiring after serving 30 years at the Cohoes Fire Department.

“I am ready, I think I need to take it easy now,” said Cpt. Carlson. He says it’s a bittersweet feeling. Also known as Bill, the captain has seen a lot in his career as a first responder, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. “It’s well worth it. It’s very rewarding, it has its ups and downs nationally because of the type of job it is but overall, you’ll be totally satisfied there’s no job like it.”

Cpt. Carlson wore many uniforms and had a long career as a first responder. He was a firefighter till he got promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2002 and then promoted to captain in 2019. He came to the Cohoes Fire Department after working at the Watervliet Arsenal as a firefighter for six years.

Prior, Carlson also served in the military. He joined the Air National Guard in 1981. While serving as lieutenant, he was the officer in charge when a woman fell into the Mohawk River. Capt. Carlson and two firefighters successfully rescued the woman who was hanging onto the rope and a buoy upstream from the damn between Cohoes and Waterford. Bill served as a safety officer and sergeant at arms.

On Tuesday, family, friends, and members of the fire department all wished him well. “Bill has stuck it out for a while, it’s hard to find dedication like him,” said Cohoes Fire Chief Joseph Fahd.

“30 years is a long time, longer than I have been alive so, it’s impressive,” said Carlson’s son Liam. “It’s mixed feelings because the kids have come here to the firehouse since they were little, coming to see their dad and we were excited to always be a part of this and to hear about his day but it will be nice to have him home, nice to not hear the scanners going off in the middle of the night with phone calls and now I know he’s safe,” added Bill’s wife Amy.

Amy says she’s excited to spend more time with her husband and has already come up with a to-do list for them! “I have house duties, take care of the house, keep the kids going to and from school, and I’ll keep busy,” Carlson added.

Congratulations to Cpt. Carlson!