Here's a firefighter with years of experience, who proves to be a leader wherever he goes.

Submission by Audra Szkotak
Submission by Audra Szkotak

Meet Brian Szkotak

When we say years of experience... we mean it. Brian Szkotak has been a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years in Upstate and Central New York.

He started his career in Malone, before moving to Yorkville's Fire Department and eventually becoming their Captain for several years. More recently, Brian and his wife moved again to Rome, meaning he had yet another department to join. He quickly became Captain of the Lake Delta Fire Department and was recently promoted to Assistant Chief.

Credit - Brian Szkotak via Facebook
Credit - Brian Szkotak via Facebook

Not only does Brian volunteer on the front lines, but he's also changed his career path to better serve his community too. He is now a Oneida County 9-1-1 Dispatcher and absolutely loves every minute of it.

It has been what he has always wanted to do and serve for his community... he does it well and always will.

It's not just his fire hall he's inspiring, it's his kids too. Both of Brian's boys have been involved in volunteer fire departments too, all following in their fathers footsteps.

Credit - Brian Szkotak via Facebook
Credit - Brian Szkotak via Facebook

Thank you Brian for everything you do and have done for your communities. It takes a special person to do what you do, both on the front lines and behind the phone. Thank you for making a difference and protecting Central New York in any way you can.

Nominate a First Responder

Do you know a first responder that deserves to be recognized? Tell us about someone who should be honored in Central New York - a firefighter, police officer, EMT, forest ranger, paramedic, DEC officer, military, rescuer, front-line worker, or any other person first on the scene.

Include their name, a picture, and why they should be recognized during 'First Responder Friday." We'll honor one first responder every Friday and as a way to say thank you, we'll give them a Bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

11 Old Upstate Train Stations and Firehouses That Are Now Restaurants

The time comes in every small town in Upstate New York when they must look to giving up the ghost with their old train stations and firehouses. Time has passed these important places for the most part, and (in the case of the old firehouses), new, more modern ones must be built.

So, what to do with the old buildings?

Well, many communities have sold off their "old stock" of train depots and fire stations to private citizens who have breathed new life into the structures as modern, delicious, and very popular restaurants.

Here are some very old train depots and fire stations (some more than 150 years old), that
are now vital places in their communities, serving up delicious meals, a place for high-end cocktails, a venue for live entertainment, and more. And to the credit of almost each of these listed in this gallery, they have all managed to modernize these old buildings while leaving important nuances reflecting back on the DNA of their past, back to when the conductor used to holler "All Aboard" and to when the fire trucks barreled out the huge front doors answering the call in the neighborhood.

I think you will enjoy this list!

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