On June 17, 1991, a young James Walsh joined the ranks as firefighter assigned to Hook & Ladder Company # 1. The son of the late Ex Captain James Walsh, it would now be time for James to demonstration the competency of a young man who had learned so much throughout the firehouse as a child with his dad.
By now the time had come for James to become the firefighter members at the time expected he would be. Demonstrating outstanding skills in his early years, coupled with countless merit pins for most calls answered each year, Jim became the choice to become 2nd Lieutenant in 1995. He would rise through the ranks to 1st Lieutenant in 1996, and on to Captain in 1997.
In the years that followed, James continued his dedication to our department and community, again as one of our most active firefighters. It was no surprise that in April of 2002, James would again, be elected 2nd Lieutenant followed by 1st Lieutenant in 2003, and on the Captain in 2004. But in April of 2012, James once more would take a run up the company ranks from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant, and on to Captain in 2014. With so much specialized training over the years, including New York State certification in Vehicle Extrication and Emergency Medical First Responder, there was no doubt that the time had come to seek the position of 3rd Assistant Chief.
In April of 2017, James was elected to that honor. Bringing his expertise to the table, James never looked back, seamlessly moving up the ranks during our most difficult times. In 2019 James would become an integral part of the leadership that would guide our organization through a global pandemic that required endless planning and decision making for our community and all EMFD responders.
In April of 2020, James Walsh was elected to our highest position as Chief of Department. He would spend the year leading our department surrounded by the dangers of a pandemic while working hard to maintain the safety of our members and our community. In April of 2021 upon completing his 4 years as a Chief Officer, James Walsh was re-elected to the position of 3rd Asst Chief. Just weeks before, he would save a child’s life. Seeing a vehicle on the road with occupants in distress he pulled over to assist. Finding a child choking and turning blue, Chief Walsh put his training to the test using the Heimlich maneuver. Moments later, as EMFD ambulance 615 arrived on the scene, the obstruction was cleared and the child was now breathing normally.
In April of 2022, Chief Walsh was elected to the position of 2nd Asst Chief.
Married to his wife and best friend, Cathleen, Asst Chief Walsh is a proud father to his 2 children James and Riley. Our members of the East Meadow Fire Department are equally proud to have James as a leader once more and look forward to his upcoming years in office.