Remembering Fallen Firefighter John Patrick Callahan

John Patrick Callahan was born in 1904 in Mechanicville, New York. He and his twin brother, Martin S Callahan, joined the Mechanicville Fire Department circa 1922. They were assigned to the W. B. Neilsen Hose Company, Number 4. In 1950, he moved to the neighboring Town of Stillwater where he became one of 38 men who were Charter Members of the Arvin Hart Fire Department founded on July 24, 1954. His home was across the street from the where the fire station was built in 1955 with its sole truck, a 1934 LaFrance. His position was 1st Assistant Fire Chief.On August 15, 1956 at approximately 1pm, 1st Assistant Chief Callahan went to a grass fire in Stillwater. Upon returning home at 2:45pm, he died suddenly of a heart attack. He had chest pains at the fire scene but was unaware of the gravity of his medical condition. 1st Assistant Chief Callahan was survived by his wife, Honora Greeley Callahan, his oldest son, Father Zachary Callahan, his daughters, Honora “Kiki” Bendon and Agnes Ryan and his 14 year old son, John “Jack” Patrick Callahan, Jr. 1st Assistant Chief Callahan was also Assistant Yardmaster for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad in Mechanicville.

This firefighter line of duty fatality occurred before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built in Emmitsburg, Maryland. While this firefighter has not been officially honored at the Memorial site, there are plans to do so when resources are available.