Responding to accolades for his decades of dedicated community service, long-serving firefighter Robert McKinney (left foreground) defers credit to others. He made his comments during a ceremony July 15 naming him and the late Wade Earl as first citizens to be commemorated in the Lake George firefighting ‘Walk of Honor.’
Hailing McKinney in the surprise award ceremony were (rear, left to right): Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson, Fire Association of the State of NY (FASNY) CEO David Quinn, FASNY Firefighting Museum Executive Director Jamie Quinn, Lake George Mayor Bob Blais, and Barbara McKinney McGuirk, president of the Lake George Fire Department.
Photo by Thom Randall.
LAKE GEORGE Dozens of local citizens gathered Monday July 15 to honor two local firefighters who together devoted well more than 100 years to the Lake George Fire Department and other community organizations.
Robert McKinney and the late Wayde Earl were both hailed for their longstanding dedication to the community, as a plaque commemorating their service was unveiled at the entrance of the Lake George firehall on Ottawa St..
This plaque, set in a stone monument beside the firehall walkway, is the debut memorial in the village’s new Walk of Honor.
Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said both Earl and McKinney had devoted most all of their adult years volunteering to protect the lives and property of their fellow citizens, as well as serving on various other community organizations.
“Volunteers like Wayde and Bob spend many of their days in service, in training, plus contributing in other ways,” he said, noting that their sons and daughters have followed their example, serving the community in an exemplary fashion as well.
“A lot of communities across the nation would love to have citizens like the McKinneys and Earls,” he said.
Blais noted that Wayde Earl devoted years of his life to various community organizations, including the Lake George Rotary Club, the local American Legion post and Masonic Lodge, and the Lake George Historical Association, entities for which he held leadership roles.
Earl was also Lake George Town Supervisor from 1968 through 1969 and served as a village trustee in the early 1960s — as well as a stint as village justice.
During his lengthy tenure with the Lake George Fire Department, Earl served in various executive roles, including President and Chaplain. Earl, who died in 2009, served as president, trustee and convention chairman of the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association, as well as an officer of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY).