WILMINGTON WAY: Wilmington’s highway super is also the fire chief
I started this series as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but also as a reminder of what a great team we have in our community. Hopefully it sends a message that “we’ve got this” and gives you all comfort in this strange time in our history.
In little Adirondack hamlets like Wilmington, it is not uncommon to have the person that is working on the highway crew being the one who answers your emergency call in the middle of the night. They are the ones you may visit with at either the store or the post office. Such is the case with our “Wilmington Way” individual this week, Louie Adragna. Not only has he worked for the town of Wilmington for over two decades, he has been an active volunteer member in the Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad for 18 years.
In fact, he has served 13 years as our Fire Chief. His countless volunteer hours and training for our community is impressive. Rising to the level of fire chief is not a one-two step. Any person that becomes chief must also serve in all the other officer positions before becoming the top man. In this side of his life, he leads an organization that answers over 300 calls a year.
On the town level, Louie was hired by former Highway Superintendent Marcel Bruce. It was clear Marcel saw the right qualities in him to be part of the Wilmington team. In fact, years later Highway Superintendent Bill Skufca made Louie his deputy. A position he served in for 13 years.
Last fall, the town of Wilmington Town Board unanimously appointed Louie to the top position when Bill Skufca retired.
Louie’s leadership and work ethic has benefited our town greatly. Like the fire department, he had to learn each position in the road department and jobs before advancing to the next. The transition has been smooth in his advancement to being the leader as our Wilmington highway superintendent.
Continuing education and training have become a hallmark of Louie’s resume. From Essentials of Firemanship to holding both Commercial Drivers and Class D in water distribution licenses, these credentials have benefited the community.
Having moved to Wilmington when he was 8 years old after his parents purchased the Grandview Motel, Louie has settled roots in his community. At age 45, he has three children all the same age. That’s right. Triplets! He and his wife Sarah stay pretty busy with their children, Anna, Katie and Nick. Of course, Louie himself is a twin. His brother Rick shares the same birth date. Apparently, more than one child at a time is pretty common in the Adragna family genetics.
Even with Louie’s family obligations and dedication to the citizens of the town of Wilmington, he still finds time to mountain bike with friends. Dirt biking and camping has also become a family tradition.
Our community is very fortunate to have a person with the caliber of Louie Adragna. He takes his commitment to our community to heart. His friendly personality and sense of humor makes him the perfect “Wilmington-Way” man.
(Roy Holzer is the supervisor of the town of Wilmington.)