Saranac Lake Fire Department

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SLVFD mourns the loss of Kenneth J. McLaughlin
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By SLVFD News Room
February 11, 2022

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share this very sad news with all of you. Our brother firefighter Kenneth J. McLaughlin died unexpectedly at home late Thursday afternoon February 10, 2022.

Ken had been an active member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department since 1966 and served as the department's Dive Captain for over 35 years. He was also a past Franklin County Deputy Fire Coordinator "Car-2" for many years. Ken previously served as 1st and 2nd Lieutenant as well as Captain of the Rescue Squad.

Ken was a veteran of the United States Army and served as a Sergeant with the Saranac Lake Police Department in the 1970's. Ken later went to work for the New York State Department of Correctional Services serving for more than 30 years holding many titles and rising through the ranks retiring as New York State Deputy Superintendent-Director of Operations. In 2010 Ken was elected as Village Judge and continued to serve as Harrietstown Judge.

Ken was a true public servant, loved by all of us. His loss will be deeply felt throughout our entire community and beyond. Ken deeply cared about everyone he met and always had our community, our members and our fire departments' best interest at heart. He loved being a firefighter, he loved our community, he loved his brother and sister firefighters and was especially passionate about being a public safety diver. He will be incredibly missed by all of us.

Ken was our "BlackwaterH20" and there will never be another like you brother. You have completed your shift, job well done. Godspeed Ken. We will take it from here.

Hyperlinks: 2016 article on Ken attaining 50 years of service

Add a Comment Add a Comment 6 Comment(s)

Robert W Girard Jr February 11, 2022 at 12:40 PM
Chief Keough said it best in his email for now. He pretty much hit the nail on the head. My memories of Kenny are too many to list, for those of you who didn't know
him, take our word for it he was the best!

Bruce McNamara February 11, 2022 at 1:26 PM
my hero and dive partner

Tom Hanlon February 11, 2022 at 2:48 PM
I have known KJ since I was 19 years old. KJ was a mentor to me at the SLVFD and the SLPD as well as giving me some good life advise like a big brother. Ken was very dedicated to the SLVFD having served as a firefighter, rescue squad member and Captain of the Dive Team for decades! KJ truly cared about the citizens of the SL community area and went above and beyond to insure they had the best public safety services the SLVFD could provide. To me he was a leader, a mentor, a trainer, a big brother and a great guy. I will miss him and never forget his friendship to me. God Bless and God Speed KJ!

Roger Callaghan February 11, 2022 at 3:51 PM
I remember when I was oh maybe 13 or 14 we rode around town and he went on a call and he told me to stay in the car

Mark Picerno February 12, 2022 at 11:10 AM
Ken was a good man. Always had a kind word or smile when we met. He will be missed by all.

Deb Amo February 12, 2022 at 12:43 PM
A wonderful man, beautiful soul and the best friend to have. He will be missed.

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Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department
100 Broadway
PO Box 509
Saranac Lake NY 12983

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: 518-891-2333
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