Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Fire Commissioner Raymond F. ``Doc'' Kiernan who will be honored September 15 upon his retirement after a 45-year career with the New Rochelle, New York Fire Department.
A lifelong New Rochelle resident, Doc Kiernan was a true ``firefighter's fire commissioner,'' rising through the ranks to become New Rochelle Fire Commissioner in 1985. His experience at every level of the Department prepared him well. As Commissioner, he advocated tirelessly at all levels of government for increased resources for firefighter training and equipment. His knowledge became especially valuable after September 11, 2001, as I and other elected officials turned to Commissioner Kiernan for advice on complex issues such as emergency preparedness and radio interoperability.
Doc Kiernan's lifetime of dedicated service extends far beyond the New Rochelle Fire Department. He served in the United States Coast Guard on active duty and in the Reserve from 1965 through 1971. He was active in a number of professional organizations, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Northeastern States Fire Consortium, the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, the Westchester Career Fire Chiefs Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. Additionally, Ray serves as a member of the Fire Advisory Board to the Westchester County Executive, on the Board of Directors of the Westchester Fire Fighters Emerald Society Pipe Band and as the current past chairman of the New York State Career Fire Chiefs Committee. He previously was a member of the New Rochelle Fire Fighters Association Executive Board and is a past president of the New Rochelle Fire Officers Association.
Commissioner Kiernan also has shared his time and talents with a host of community organizations, including the United Way, on both the local and county level. He was a chair of New Rochelle Heart Committee of the American Heart Association. His many volunteer contributions have won him honors and awards from numerous organizations including the Knights of Columbus, Huguenot Lions Club, and Casa Calabria.
I am proud to recognize New Rochelle Fire Commissioner Raymond F. ``Doc'' Kiernan for his exemplary service and commitment, and I urge my colleagues to join with me in wishing him many happy years in retirement.
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