Mahlon Irish Jr. has retired as a New York State Fire Instructor after 40 years of service. Irish Jr. first began as an instructor back in January 1984 and during his 40 years has worked continuously instructing firefighters in various classes from basic firefighter operations to fire apparatus operators.
In 2014, Irish Jr. was diagnosed with prostate cancer; he then made it his personal mission to travel throughout the state to educate firefighters on how to protect themselves from fire service related cancers; his work has reached over 2,500 firefighters in the state.
On Wednesday evening, at the Homer Community Building, Irish Jr. was recognized by multiple local and state agencies for his work. Cortland County Legislator and Public Safety Chair, Sandy Price, presented a proclamation from the County Legislature to Irish Jr. Other recognitions came from the Cortland County Fire Instructors, Fire Chiefs Association and Fire Advisory Board with a proclamation, a plaque from past employees of the Saulsbury Fire Apparatus, and other gestures of appreciation.
Irish Jr. is also the past Chief for the Homer Fire Department, and a retired City of Ithaca Fire Department Lieutenant.