Unadilla Native, Longtime Firefighter Named 2018 Chamber Honoree


UNADILLA – Last week, the Unadilla Chamber of Commerce named Carl G. French, longtime member of law enforcement, veteran, volunteer and village native, recipient of its 2018 “Commitment to Community” award.

French, the village code enforcer since 2012, has served with the Unadilla and Sidney police departments, as bailiff for the Unadilla Town Court and in various capacities with the Unadilla Fire Department, of which he is a 55-year member.

French, 76, said the recognition came as a total surprise.

I about fell through the floor,” he said, laughing. “I never expected to get this from the chamber.”

In his firefighting career, French has been first and second assistant fire chief and fire chief, a post held for 13 years. Also, he has served as lieutenant of the fire police, which operates under the auspices of the department. He is a past president of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs and of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York. Since 1983, he has been the Otsego County Fire Department Coordinator for the county’s southern region.

French was also instrumental in moving the Unadilla Fire Department to its Clifton Street home in the early 2000s.

For his various firefighting roles, French received the Gary Goodier Service Award in 1990; Otsego County’s “Fireman of the Year” in 2006, accompanied by a certificate of merit from State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford; and, most recently, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s “Certificate of Appreciation” earlier this year. Seward also presented him with a citation at that time.


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