July 9 – Happy Birthday Walter Martin

There has never been a City of Amsterdam firefighter who loved his job or his profession any more than Walter Martin. The native of Amsterdam’s South Side was born on July 9, 1952. He was a tough and sturdy Amsterdam High varsity football center and middle guard for Gene White and John Los-coached Rugged Ram teams and he was a key member of the backstage crew for Bert DeRose’s Drama Club productions. Martin graduated from Lynch in 1970 and by 1972 he had become an Amsterdam firefighter. Over the next four decades he would rush to thousands of fires and emergency situations in this city, become one of the department’s very first EMT’s, earn “Firefighter of the Year” honors twice and even deliver a baby.

By the time he retired in 2012, he had risen to the rank of Battalion Chief and become one of the most knowledgeable experts of the history, traditions and technologies of fire fighting in this city’s history. And though he no longer actively works for the AFD, he remains closely connected to those who do and is constantly called upon whenever a question about this city’s firefighting history arises. He also maintains the largest known collection of Amsterdam firefighting equipment and memorabilia in existence and to underscore his passion for the profession he’s devoted his life to, Walter and his wife Mary Beth make their home in the old AFD Station 5, which is located on the corner of Division and Henrietta Streets, in Amsterdam’s West End.

(This long-ago Amsterdam resident, one of this town’s most sought after knitting mill managers was also born on July 9.)

(This former Amsterdam Rugmaker shortstop was also born on July 9.)


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