Longtime Cohoes fire captain retires

Albany County

Following a distinguished 30 year career

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — At 7 a.m., September 17, 2020, Captain James Fennen of the Cohoes Fire Department signaled out for the final time after nearly 31 years on the job.

A lifelong resident of the City of Cohoes, Fennen was named an official, junior firefighter at just 13-years-old after spending his summer helping out in and around the Central Avenue firehouse.

“I held on to the aspirations and the dreams. Four years of college and I still became a firefighter,” Fennen said.

Fennen’s career also included 22 years as a firefighter with the New York Air National Guard. His leadership will be missed. You see, every current officer of the Cohoes Fire Department was once a firefighter on the 4th platoon under Captain Fennen. 

“It’s always hard to lose that kind of experience. He’s been a great guy to work with. I always knew if he was at a fire, I didn’t have much to worry about. Things were getting done before I got there,” Fire Chief Joseph Fahd says.

What will Fennen miss the most? If you’re not a firefighter, his answer may surprise you.

“When you’re washing your vehicles inside a fire station, everybody will tell you, only a fire station smells like that. It’s pretty amazing. So, I’ll miss that,” said Fennen.

The 60-year-old Fennen now looks forward to a much more predictable schedule and spending quality time with his wife and their three grandchildren, who might just get to hang around that firehouse on Central Avenue with grandpa.


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