To the Editor:

With the recent passing of Andrew Armstrong, I would like to take the time to reflect.

Andy Armstrong and I had a strange friendship.

Most of the EMS community around New Milford assumed he and I didn't like each other because, at times over the years, our opinion differed.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Over the years, we became friends and, with his support, many of the advances in the delivery of emergency medical services in this area were pushed through by Andy.

Many of the newer EMS personnel in the area simply do not understand the impact Andy had on EMS in this area. He was truly one of the founding fathers of EMS, and one of the few who remained active in EMS for decades.

I have deep respect and admiration for this man because of his dedication to helping his community, and his unwavering commitment to serving on the New Milford Ambulance.

I can think of no other person I have ever met in my 36 years in EMS who is more of an inspiration to me.

How any human being can endure 65 years of serving on an ambulance corps, and especially serve as president of the organization for 35 years, exceeds my ability to comprehend.

Over the past few years, Andy and I would meet up for lunch, or a quick conversation at his shop or home, and he was always the quintessential gentleman. Even when someone annoyed him, he would stop before calling names, and just say "you know that `so and so' " and leave it at that.

A year and a half ago, when I was promoted to deputy chief at the Danbury Fire Department, I was so honored when Andy actually attended my swearing in. It was a great honor for me.

I will truly miss this man.

Bernie Meehan

Chief,

Roxbury Ambulance