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August 10, 2017


on the scene Honoring our local heroes

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A word of thanks to our volunteer firefighters There is a part of many of us, I believe, that wants, on one level or another, to be a volunteer firefighter. Most people are good people. Most people want to protect their communities. Most people understand that one of the greatest threats to any community is fire. If a blaze were allowed to rage unconcott trolled, it could consume whole blocks or neighborhoods, as was the case in the 19th century, before the advent of highly organized fire companies. Most of us want to help. We, however, haven’t the ability to fight fires. Volunteer firefighting requires an inordinate amount of time and a level of commitment that is so rare these days. To say that our volunteer firefighters are heroes is an understatement. They give selflessly to a higher cause — protecting their neighbors’ homes, businesses and lives. You can only imagine your community without your department, or with a paid fire department, the taxes would be astronomical. So we can only say thank you to the good men and women who fight our fires and come to the aid of people in all manner of catastrophes, from heroin overdoses to car



wrecks and hurricanes. Several months in the making, the First on the Scene section is a project that is intended to express our sincere gratitude to Nassau County’s volunteer fire departments. Too often, our fire volunteers go unnoticed within our communities. With this section, we hope to change that. rinton It is, perhaps, little surprise that the ranks of volunteer firefighters have diminished over the past two decades. Many folks are working two and three jobs to make ends meet. They haven’t the time to volunteer. Nearly 20 years ago, I photographed a front-page investigative story for the Long Island section of The New York Times that looked at the dire need for more fire volunteers. I visited with firefighters from across the Island. The story was always one and the same: Firefighting ranks were becoming stretched thinner and thinner. In speaking with a number of fire chiefs and firefighters for this Herald section, the story remains the same now: Our local fire departments desperately need recruits. Often, people wonder why anyone would take on a responsibility as monumental as volunteer firefighting. I asked that question

of Louis Lanzilotta in 1997 for a Herald story about the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department. At the time, he was chief of the department, one of the oldest fire companies on the South Shore. He said the answer was simple: old-fashioned good will. “You see how devastating it is when someone’s house in on fire,” he told me. “It’s a special feeling to know you helped that person.” Indeed. Beyond that, it’s important to note that fire companies offer a home to so many. They are places of camaraderie, of brother and sisterhood, of community. For those

who are firefighters, they often say they could not imagine not volunteering. So, to all of the brave firefighters across Nassau County, all of us at the Herald offer our sincere gratitude for all that you do for our communities! n If you are interested in volunteering for your local Fire Department, call its non-emergency number, easily found on its website. Scott Brinton Executive Editor, Herald Community Newspapers





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August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


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First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

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August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


Danger in all directions for fire volunteers


First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

1 By Scott Brinton


Volunteer firefighters climb ladders that stretch two and three stories into the air, high-pressure hoses at the ready to spray down raging fires that burn hotter than a thousand degrees. Black smoke billows in all directions. At any moment, the home or building might explode or collapse. Meanwhile, other volunteers rush inside in search of victims who might be trapped. It’s an inferno, with flames raging in all directions. Sight is limited. The structure groans. Weakened wooden floors might give in. Walls and ceilings might come crashing down. Yes, volunteer firefighting is very, very dangerous, and the financial reward is, well, non-existent, except for a small pension later in life. Long Island’s firefighters are largely volunteers. They give of their time and of themselves, they say, out of an old-fashioned sense of community and a desire to aid those in need. Long-time Herald photographer Bill Kelly has spent years capturing volunteer firefighters at work as they extinguish blazes of all sorts. Herein are a handful of his of images of Five Towns fire volunteers.




1- Firefighting scenes can be described as controlled chaos, such as this one in Inwood. 2- Members of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department battled a blaze from atop a ladder truck. 3- Volunteer firefighters are “unpaid professionals,” as this helmet makes clear. 4- It takes two to stretch and hold down a high-pressure hose line. 5- Lawrence-Cedarhurst volunteers fighting a rooftop fire. Photos by Bill Kelly/Herald

“We are blessed to have such professional and hardworking volunteer firefighters, EMTs and Hatzalah. I want to thank the brave men and women for their dedication to protecting the lives and property of our residents. They put their lives on the line every day for the local residents, and we owe them our deepest gratitude.” 922928

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August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


Volunteer Honor Roll C. Alianakian S. Baumgarten N. Behar D. Blue J. Blue K. Cadigan N. Etrog N. Franzleich M. Foley J. Gelb

J. Goldstein A. Golan R. Greenberg J. Hartnett ​T. Isfeld​ J. Katz G. Kitrell E. Kohan J. Kohan N. Koudougoy

J Lebensfeld J. Marion ​H. Meyerson​ M. Miranda S. Patterson M. Schaffner J. Scott M. Scott M. Siegel T. Siegel

Inwood Firefighters B. Silberman ​A. Squieri M. Squieri​ J. Stone ​M. Simao​ V. Simao J. Trott R.Trott

Hewlett Firefighters Chief Bryan Kohlmier Asst Chief Jamie Lewin Asst. Chief Steven Lahey Kerri-Linne Ahern Mike Ahern Anthony Alfieri Alec Alsofrom Nick Amitrano Anthony Apath Mike Artusa Natalie Balassiano Juan Batta Richard Batta Danny Berrios R Bevilacqua Ira Blumstein Saverio Bosco Richard Breen Paul Beslin Chris Brower William Brower John Caracciolo Alexa Carman

Brian Carman John Carlo Nicholas Dinielli Adam Dressler F Dressler Cary Epstein Steven Faure Steve Ferraro Daniel Ferrente Karen Fiorello Erik Fischer Dennis Gilroy Dave Greco Paul Gressin Isaac Hardoon Donnie Holupka Steve Kantor Bess Katz Brandon Kleiner Stan Koch Otto Kohlmier Robert Kohlmier William Kohlmier

Michael Kreisman Ethan Lahey D Lantieua Anthony Lauricella Anthony Lauricella III Chris Legrow Garrey Lieberman Mark Lorberbaum Andrew Lurie Richard Magliaro Jonathan Markowitz J Medina Steven Medina Steven Medina Jr Alan Minchenberg Luciano Morello Jon Morris Isaac Nahon K Nelson Matthew Nelson Chris Paradiso Catherine Pastor Barbara Patton

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

Atlantic Beach Rescue


Richard Pearsall J Piccione John Quaranto Peter Quaranto Edward Rizzo Edward Rolla A Ruff Joseph Ruvolo Neal Sckolnick Adam Sheflin Christopher Sokol Kevin Sokol Stan Soroka Adam Stupak Andrew Stupak Matthew Taylor Pat Tudda Anthony Vacchio Joe Velotti Richard Velotti E Warshavski Daniel Weisner Joe Whitney

Emergency Medical Squad 319 Captain Willis Sands Mindy Bharaj Allison Coronado Lumott Coleman Chris Dalessio

Elvie Hickam Tracey Labarbera Lisa Lopez Peter Joseph Jazz Mancilla Michael Marks Joseph P. Norman David Weston

Hook and Ladder Company 313 Captain Kenyatta Stevens Joseph Baal Edward Barnett Joseph Bedell Eugene Bowers Peter Curcio Alberto Cedillios

Larry Field Travis Kennedy Chris Klein Frank Manara George Miller , Sr. Alex Morales Alvaro Reyes Juan Rodriguez John Romero Vincent Squiteri

Woodmere Firefighters Adam L. B. Slotnick Adiv P. Koenig Aitan Weinberg Alan Sauer Allen Cherson Andrew B. Carman Andrew N. Kugelman Ariel N Weiss Avery S. Eden Benjamin Horowitz Brian A. German Christine A. Redash Clarence Ike, Jr.

Daniel P. Ueblacker Darren C. Moritz David DeSetta David E. Stern Dennis Rein Donald Metzler Elliot Nussbaum Eric Kasre Erik J. Kinney Gordon M. Rich Howard L. Faust Jaime T Odinsky Jason M. Hagler

Jay S. Goldmark Joseph A Greenstein Kevin J. Talty Leonard J. Cherson Marc M. Deutsch Margaret Hempstead Meir T. Shubowitz Melanie Kail Michael M Benzakein Michael Sauer Nathan 8 Spitalay Nepthali A. Careres Noscon Hecht

Richard F. Jankosky, Jr. Rodney G. Herris Ross A Goldberg Ross M. Riery Shereen M Ziaei-Torbati Steven A. Greenstein Steven A. Mann Steven Miller Todd Ostrow William J. Hempstead Yehuda Berman Yehuda Karkosky Yisroel Max

August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


Woodmere F.D., from horse-drawn carriages to now By Jake Pellegrino “Men that run into a burning building definitely have to have something wrong with them,” joked Woodmere Fire Chief Alan Sauer, referring to the bravery of his department members. What Woodmere’s more than 70 members do day in and day out is answer about 850 calls per year, for nothing in return except for the gratification of knowing that they made a difference in someone’s life and perhaps helped save it. They come from all walks of life and age groups, with their youngest members aged 18 and their oldest members in their late 70s. For many, this is their “second job,” volunteering after coming home from their day jobs as accountants, lawyers, doctors, electricians and plumbers, which only further demonstrates their commitment to helping their community. “We’re basically part-time. We’re weekend warriors,” said Sauer, who is an architect by profession. The fire department was founded about 120 years ago. The most obvious change is the physical location of the department. The main building was originally a house on Brower Avenue before it was moved to its current home on Irving Place during the 1920s. Additionally, certain companies of the department were housed in different buildings before they were consolidated into the current firehouse. In the 1800s, fires were fought in horse-drawn carriages by firefighters wearing crude equipment that consisted only of long boots, turnout coats and helmets. Fast-forward to 2017, and instead you will find firefighters wearing state-of-the-art protective suits with bunker pants, boots, turnout coats, hoods and gloves. The gear allows firefighters to enter fires to rescue people and battle flames. This is just one example of how science, technology and engineering have affected the way the department fights fires. Another factor is the increase in construction of new homes, which creates more

work for fire volunteers. “There’s more houses now than ever before. There’s areas like north of Peninsula Boulevard that weren’t developed until much later on, where 100 years ago it was just marsh. Now they’re trying to build hundreds of houses off Broadway,” said Adam Slotnick, second deputy fire chief. The fire department works to prevent fires, Slotnick said. Technology is helping, he said, particularly appliances that can shut themselves off when they become too hot. Firefighters also battle blazes according to modern scientific principles. “There are signs so that you are aware of your environment … You lear about sensing, seeing the way smoke will be moving towards things,” Sauer said. “Fire needs oxygen to burn. You get rid of oxygen, [and the] fire goes out.” The worst incident that the Woodmere Fire Department ever had to deal with was a house fire on Wood Lane in Woodsburgh. The department worked throughout the night fighting this fire, arriving at the scene at 3:30 a.m. and not finishing until about 11 a.m. The fire was tough to fight because of the sheer size of the property and its amenities. “The fire started in the steam room and went behind the wall and just went through the whole house and traveled in chases and voids in the walls and went throughout the place,” Sauer said. “To make things worse, the chlorine from the pool room made the air around the house just toxic from all these chemicals burning.” Despite the risks, it’s all worth it, Sauer said. “To be able to see that you made a difference in helping somebody is the greatest reward,” he said. “It’s nice to be appreciated.” n

Fire chiefs Charles Schiffmacher 1919-1923 George Smith 1924-1925 Robert Murray 1926-1930 Joseph Borher 1931-1933 George Combs 1934-1935 Walter Brower 1936-1937 William Juch 1938-1940 John Sutcliffe 1940-1941 Clarence Ike 1941-1944 Harry Ike 1944-1946 Thomas Garry 1946-1948 Adolph Hempstead 1948-1950 Howard Brower 1950-1951 William Quinn 1951-1952 Robert Henggeler 1952-1954 J Robert Combs 1954-1955 Robert Thompson 1955-1956 Walter M Brower 1956-1957 Morris Rhinehart 1957-1958 John Ritter 1958-1959 Joseph Lattka 1959-1961 J Robert Combs 1961-1963 Clarence Ike Jr. 1963-1964 Clarence Lund 1964-1965 Arthur Pforzheimer 1965-1967 John O’Donnell 1967-1969

Richard Jankosky 1969-1971 James Boosin 1971-1972 Albert Mero 1972-1974 Howard Hanson 1974-1975 John Greco 1975-1977 Kenneth Hecker 1977-1979 Russell Brower 1979-1981 James Doolittle 1981-1983 Francis Northern 1983-1985 George Laakso 1985-1987 Robert G. Burton Jr. 1987-1989 Peter Lund 1989-1991 Jeffrey Redash 1991-1993 Raymond Grawin 1993-1995 Richard Jankosky Jr. 1996-1997 Donald Metzler 1998-1999 Erik Kinney 2000-2001 Richard Winters 2002-2003 George Laakso 2004-2005 David Desetta 2006-2007 Brian Carman 2008-2008 Fred Ulmschneider 2009-2010 Richard Jankosky 2011-2012 Leonard Cherson 2013-2014 Richard Jankosky 2015-2016


n the 1800s, fires were fought in horse-drawn carriages by firefighters wearing crude equipment that consisted only of long boots, turnout coats and helmets.

1- 1929 Woodmere fire truck courtesy Google images. 2- The Woodmere Fire Department has been protecting the community for more than 120 years. Members of the Woodmere Emergency Medical Service squad. (on back side).

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

Woodmere Fire Department


August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


Saving lives, a 115-year tradition By Scott Brinton

1 Editor’s note: The following partially reprises a 1997 story written by Scott Brinton for the Village of Lawrence’s centennial celebration. Since 1882, the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department, which started as the Washington Hook and Ladder Company, has been protecting local homes and providing emergency medical services. The unit began almost inconspicuously, with a handful of members, two fire engines and a two-bay garage on Central Avenue, across from the department’s current firehouse at Washington and Central avenues. The present station house is, in fact, among Lawrence’s most historic buildings, a massive structure built in 1902 from the “waste rock” from New York City subway tunnels. In addition to serving as a firehouse, the building has also acted as a bank, jail, First District Courthouse and Lawrence Police Department station. Before Nassau County Police took over Lawrence’s law enforcement, the village maintained its own unit, which organized at the turn of the century, mostly to keep track of all the automobiles that started popping up in the area. In the beginning, volunteers wore heavy, rubber coasts and leather helmets. Today they don lightweight turnout gear. They also always carry air packs. When volunteers first started out, they covered their mouths with handkerchiefs and hoped for the best. In fact, the Lawrence-Cedarhurst department did not use air packs until the 1950s. The department received one pack one year and another the next. The disasters that in many ways have defined the Lawrence-Cedarhurst department are etched in volunteers’ minds. Among the worst was the crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 66 on Rockaway Boulevard, in which more than a hundred people died. In 1997, Charles Seaman, a former department

chief, described the scene that terrible day. It was a sweltering June day in 1975. Seaman said he received the call at 3:30 p.m. The sky was forbidding, with lighting bolts flashing across the horizon. “I think about it every day,” Seaman said. The crash scene was horrifying, with bloodied passengers spread across the highway. “It was like the Vietnam War. All you saw were bodies,” Anthony Montilli, another former chief, told the Herald. “It was disgusting,” said Robert Fitzgerald, another former chief. “There were children killed, heads that ººwere missing.” Four years later, on Sept. 11, 2001, 19 hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center, forever scarring fire departments throughout the greater metropolitan area, including the Lawrence-Cedarhurst department. The unit lost one of its own, Kevin O’Rourke, who was a New York Fire Department volunteer in addition to being a Lawrence-Cedarhurst volunteer. O’Rourke was assigned to the elite Rescue Company No. 2, based in Brooklyn. He died on 9/11 with his company. O’Rourke had spent his early years with Lawrence-Cedarhurst, according to department records. He was a member of Engine Company No. 1, for which he served as a captain. Lawrence-Cedarhurst volunteers come from all walks of life. Some have been police officers, others storekeepers, and some maintenance workers. Many are married, others single. Training is tough, requiring hundreds of hours of volunteers over the years. It isn’t always easy, but volunteers say, to save a life or home is an indescribably special feeling. n



raining is tough, requiring hundreds of hours of volunteers over the years. It isn’t always easy, but volunteers say, to save a life or home is an indescribably special feeling.

1- Members of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department stood at attention at the 2017 Memorial Day service outside the firehouse. 2- The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department has long been about family and friends. Photos by Monica Rzewski/Herald

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department


August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


The Hewlett F.D., from humble start to major department


By Caroline Ryan Photos, trophies and memorials adorn the walls of the Hewlett Firehouse, telling the 126-year history of the department. In 1891, Hewlett, the community, comprised a few dozen farmhouses, a general store, a blacksmith shop, and a coal and grain company. About 20 firefighters first came together to form the department. They didn’t have uniforms or badges at the time. According to a department history by Leo Sarro, a volunteer with Hose Company No. 1, “From this humble gathering of 20 or so men...there have been many firsts since this meeting, and much has changed, but a lot has remained the same.” On Feb. 17, 1892, the department first purchased 25 badges. Each member bought his own. Six members even purchased uniforms. Thus the fire department was born as an official body, and it has been protecting the community ever since. A major conflagration broke out at the Woodmere School in September 1916. The school was out of commission for a year. Fire volunteers held a special meeting and decided to use two rooms at the firehouse as classrooms. The next month, the fire department had to put proper heating and plumbing into the firehouse to accommodate the students. On Jan. 26, 1944, one of the biggest fires in the community’s history broke out at Milk’s Department Store on Broadway. An employee mistakenly called the Woodmere Fire Department. The second call came to the Hewlett Fire Department from a nearby store. By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had destroyed most of the building. Further assistance from the Woodmere, Lawrence-Cedarhurst and Inwood fire departments was needed. Damage was estimated at $105,000, an astronomical amount of money at the time. The firehouse itself has been enlarged a number of times as fire trucks have become bigger and more advanced. A new firehouse was constructed in 1927.

It still stands on Franklin Avenue, south of Broadway. In 1992, construction of a new firehouse was approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners. In 1994, the new building finally became accessible, and the old building was demolished that same year. 1995 was a year of many firsts for the Hewlett Fire Department. That was when the department accepted its first woman firefighter, Karen Pfieffer, and its first two female fire medics, Susan Hyman and Mary Marmorato. Sept. 11, 2001 is remembered as a day of sorrow by all in the department. Hewlett fire volunteer Kevin O’Rourke was killed in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. O’Rourke was also a professional firefighter for the New York Fire Department’s Rescue Two. He died trying to save others at the Twin Towers. There is a memorial in O’Rourke’s honor at the firehouse, with a plaque, a uniform and photographs. The street parallel to the LawrenceCedarhurst Fire Department was named Kevin O’Rourke Way in honor of the fallen firefighter. (O’Rourke was also once a Lawrence-Cedarhurst firefighter.) The department currently has 131 active volunteers. “We are there to help you. We come out from our bed in the middle of the night to help people. We practice like we play,” said Jamie Lewin, the department’s first assistant chief and a member of Hose Company One. Department members train at least once every Sunday, as well as a few nights a week throughout the month to keep their skills intact, Lewin said. Hurricane Sandy challenged the Hewlett Fire Department. In the weeks after the storm, the department was called a number of times because electrical fires broke out in storm-damaged houses when people turned their electricity back on and electrical lines damaged by saltwater burst into flames.

2 This September, the department will receive a new fleet of fire trucks, including a ladder truck and an ambulance. “We are one big family here … We are here for the community, and we are here to save lives … This is what we do,” Lewin said. n


e are one big family here … We are here for the community, and we are here to save lives … This is what we do.

Jamie Lewin First assistant chief, Hewlett Fire Department

1- Members of the Hewlett Fire Department marched recently in the Fourth Battalion Parade as an invited guest. 2- The Hewlett department’s trucks on display. Photos by Bill Kelly/Herald

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

Hewlett Fire Department


August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


THANK YOU TO ALL FIRST RESPONDERS There are not words big enough. There is not a hug strong enough. There is not a smile wide enough. All we can offer is Thank You!

Atlantic Beach Rescue squad members Nat Etrog and Kyle “Crash” Cadigan performed a mock water rescue at the U.S. Coast Guard station at Jones Beach. Photo courtesy Jennifer Hartnett


You are our Hero’s. You are in our thoughts. You are in our Prayers. For all you’ve done, and will do… Thank You!

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First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017


August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


For Inwood, it’s more than a century of firefighting By Tyler Marko On Jan. 19, 1887, a group of concerned residents of what was then North West Point met to form the Electric Hook and Ladder Company. This group would go on to become the Inwood Fire Department. At the time, the area that would eventually become Inwood had a population of about 1,000 people. Many folks made their living working the clam and oyster beds of Jamaica Bay, and the streets were covered with sand and broken shells, not asphalt. A building was erected at what is now 101 Doughty Blvd. in late 1887, and thus the Electric Hook and Ladder Company predates electricity in the area. Locals held fundraisers to purchase the company’s first ladder truck — for $330, with $20 down. The truck originally carried only ladders and buckets, but was later outfitted with a hose before being replaced and sold to the Roxbury Fire Department in 1917. In 1902, another company formed. The Citizens Hose and Engine Company began sharing part of 101 Doughty with Hook and Ladder. While the two companies were separate, they responded to the same alarms. Charles L. Pearsall was elected the first chief in 1903. The two companies finally merged in 1910, and with their union, they became the Inwood Fire Department. The lack of modern equipment made work especially difficult in the early days. Without phones, someone had to run to the firehouse and ring the bell atop the tower to sound the alarm, the apparatuses were dragged over the unpaved roads, either by hand or by horse, and the water itself would sometimes have to be carried long distances from hydrants or other sources. The department’s ability to quell fires improved as its equipment did. In 1927, the volunteers received their first pumper truck, a new ladder truck and an ambulance. Their collection continued to expand, and today features three engines, a ladder truck, two ambulances, four boats, a heavy rescue vehicle to

deal with vehicle extractions and building collapses, and the chief’s truck and other support vehicles. The department relocated to its present location at Doughty and Wanser avenues in 1926. As Inwood itself grew, so did the fire department. The firehouse was expanded in 1952, and an annex was built in 1984. Today there are more than 100 department volunteers. In its 130-year history, the department has extinguished a number of notable fires. One such blaze occurred on March 14, 1960, and tore through the seven-story Nautilus Hotel in Atlantic Beach. Subduing the flames required the assistance of several other departments, and while March 14 was a Monday, the last Inwood units didn’t leave the scene until Friday. The department lost William Borfitz on Nov. 5, 1942, when he died attempting to rescue a young boy, who also died, in a fire in his home at Doughty and Mott avenues. Chief Robert Moloney died on April 17, 1946, as a result of injuries sustained during a training drill. Most recently, Chief Joseph Sanford Jr. died in a fire in Woodmere on Dec. 19, 2014. Sanford’s gear now adorns the firehouse foyer. The Inwood Fire Department has served the community for more than a century. Volunteers have come a long way from carrying buckets of water on an apparatus pulled by horses to become the organization they are today. n


he Inwood Fire Department has served the community for more than a century. Volunteers have come a long way from carrying buckets of water on an apparatus pulled by horses to become the organization they are today

List of Chiefs: Charles L. Pearsall John Crosby William Chave Valentine Smith C.A. Schleif John Sandison Charles Rollberg Fred Schleif Alfrow Small Walter Chave Elmer Wood John Grady Solomon Wanser Leslie Alger Elmer Jackson Harold T. McGinn Charles Wanser Spencer Bowker Chester Newton Oliver Craft Morris Sprague William Kirk Jr. Theodore Hicks Theodore Shearer Franklin Hicks Fred Robinson Clark Wanser William Donald Arthur Craft Myron Pearsall Mansfield Watts Phillip Kane Wilson Abrams Edwin Donald Robert Maloney Joseph Cornell Rodney Boyd John Baal Arthur Fisher Joseph Kenn

William Craft Kenneth Oehler John W. Norman Jr. Oscar Calabria George Egel Andrew Witze Charles Kittel John Trotta Jesse Mistero Bernard Pearsall Robert Abrams Tony Oliveri James Levy Jr. John Swift John Dorn *Roert Dorn* Charles Borfitz Kenneth Oehler Jr. George C. Miller Sr. Joseph Baal Carmen Giordonella Robert Hicks Ronald Spinelli James Pearsall Thomas Lynch John W. Norman Victor C Librizzi Anthony M. Rivelli Mark L. Rolon Michael Abrams William Popelaski Thomas Pandolfo Thomas Harvey Frank Parise Audeno Sarnelli Richard Magliaro Joseph Sanford Jr. Gaetano Marino Anthony Rivelli Jr.

The Inwood Fire Department has been battling neighborhood blazes for more than a century. Above, early members of the department from the Electric Hook and Lader Company in an undated photo.

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

Inwood Fire Department


August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


Hatzalah, serving Jewish patients By Jake Pellegrino

In addition to local, county and state ambulance and EMS services, Jewish patients in Nassau and Queens counties have another service to call on when they are injured. It’s known as Hatzalah of the Rockaways and Nassau County, and it responds to nearly 6,000 calls per year in Belle Harbor, West Hempstead, Woodmere, Long Beach and Valley Stream. It is often Jewish patients’ EMS service of choice because volunteers respect their religious needs. This ranges from respecting the Jewish religion’s restriction on using motor vehicles on the Sabbath to speaking their languages. “They are programmed not to get into a car on the Sabbath,” said Rabbi Elozer Kanner, the Hatzalah coordinator. “If I say they must go, they understand I’ve taken into account their religious concerns. If another agency presses onto them that they must go, they wouldn’t understand. We speak Yiddish and Hebrew. We can communicate with people who don’t speak English, who may be here from Israel. That’s what makes us unique.” Hatzalah started about 40 years ago in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when Rabbi Hershel Webber witnessed somebody die while waiting for EMS service to show up and swore to never see that happen again. He then started his own service with a central mission of rapid response times. “There’s always a member close by,” Kanner said. “When you blanket a neighborhood with members everywhere, there is always someone close. Response time is what saves life. This is our strength because we don’t respond from a central location. We pride ourselves on quick response time.” Members have the trunks of their personal cars fully outfitted with all the equipment that they might need. From there, they can just go to the call and provide medical care before the Hatzalah ambulance arrives, which then transports the patient to the hospital. Hatzalah never charges for its services and is staffed entirely by volunteers.

Hatzalah also has working relationships with local fire departments and often reaches out to them when its volunteers need help. Recently, Hatzalah and the fire department worked together on a pin job, which is a case where a driver cannot get out of a car because the door is mangled. To open the door, special tools are needed, which Hatzalah does not have, so volunteers reached out to the nearest fire department that did and the door was opened. Hatzalah’s members come from all walks of life and professions such as doctors, lawyers, plumbers and shop owners. A volunteer applicant must be a doctor, EMT or paramedic, and preferably be married. n


e speak Yiddish and Hebrew. We can communicate with people who don’t speak English, who may be from Israel. That’s what makes us unique.

1- A Hatzalah ambulance. Photo via Facebook 2- Members of the Hatzalah ambulance company celebrated at their annual gala in May. Photo courtesy Naftoli Goldgrab Photography 3- Hatzalah’s recent annual ball.

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

Hatzalah of the Rockaways and Nassau



August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers




First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017





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1- An early Woodmere fire truck, complete with trophies. Photo courtesy Woodmere F.D. 2- A horse-drawn Lawrence-Cedarhurst fire engine, 1901. Photo courtesy Lawrence-Cedarhurst F.D. 3- Present-day Lawrence-Cedarhurst firefighters at the 2017 Memorial Day ceremony in front of the firehouse. Photo byMonica Rzewski/Herald 4- A present-day Atlantic Beach Rescue vehicle. Photo by Skyler Hessler/Herald 5- A recent shot of a Hewlett firefighter after battling a blaze. Photo by Bill Kelly/Herald 6- Inwood Fire Department historical photo, circa 1900. Photo by Courtesy Inwood F.D. 7- Inwood Fire Department historical photo, undated. Photo courtesy Inwood F.D.


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August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


Atlantic Beach Rescue, saving lives by land and by sea By Scott Brinton Atlantic Beach Rescue’s headquarters sit in the shadow of the Atlantic Beach Bridge, so passing through the center of the village, many folks have little idea the squad is there. Make no mistake: It is. The crew must be ever on the ready for both land- and sea-based rescues. At its disposal, it has a variety of all-terrain vehicles to be able to navigate sandy beaches, as well as watercraft to help boaters and swimmers in distress, both in Reynolds Channel to the north and in the Atlantic Ocean to the south.





1- The Atlantic Beach Rescue team assembled in front of the squad’s headquarters near the Atlantic Beach Bridge. The team must be ready to perform rescues on land and in the bays and ocean. (full page photo other side) 2- Atlantic Beach Rescue members posed with their new Truck 3661, which was designed with the help of the Fire Department of New York. 3- Atlantic Beach water rescue team members Michael Simao, from left, Victoria Simao, Assistant Chief Avi Golan, Commissioner Nat Etrog and Chief Jonathan Kohan with Boat 3628. 4- At the scene of an emergency, members of the ambulance crew unloaded a stretcher recently. 5- Atlantic Beach Rescue needs several all-terrain vehicles in case of an emergency on the beach. Photos by Skyler Hessler/Herald

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017


Atlantic Beach Rescue


August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


Meadowmere Park: tiny island, dedicated volunteers By Tyler Marko Located on a small island in Jamaica Bay, just a single road and a small footbridge are the only ways to reach Meadowmere Park. Residents of this closeknit community don’t have any stores, restaurants or police stations, but they do have their own fire unit. The Meadowmere Park Fire Department was founded in 1946, at 14 Meyer Ave. Before then, the hamlet had relied on a fire prevention team that kept a hand-drawn wagon in a local garage. After a major fire tore through the area in the 1930s, residents decided that they needed to better prepare for another fire, and a few years later they had their own department. Henry C. Heinz was the first chief, leading the department from its inception until 1953. However, it wasn’t until the mid 1970s when the fire district was born, and the station began receiving taxpayer funds. Before then, the volunteers depended on fundraising to support the department. Andrew Schmidt Sr., who has been with the department for 57 years and was chief at the time, said, “Back in ’73, we had go around to everyone in a district to borrow $100 for that Ford truck.” As the district grew, so did the need for better equipment. When the station was founded, the shopping center located just across Rockaway Boulevard was a swamp, and there was a vacant lot on the island’s southern point, which now houses 18 fuel tanks. Today there are two pumper trucks, a rescue truck, an ambulance and a chief’s truck. The department is also working towards adding a ladder truck to the collection. And while those are all necessary, being on an island means that the station needs to be able to get firefighters out on the bay. The station has two inflatable rafts and a Carolina skiff, a small motorboat, to help with any fires or rescues on the water. Before the station got its own boats in the 1980s, the firefighters used their personal vessels. With so many homes so close to the bay, it’s not surprising that this community was hit particularly hard during Hurricane Sandy. So many homes were flooded that Schmidt Sr. said they were feeding anywhere from 50 to 100 people every day in the months following the storm. All the while, the station itself had been flooded by nearly six feet of water. The walls of the station are adorned with historical photos throughout the department’s history. Alongside these pictures and the awards is a corner dedicated Capt. Thomas Jurgens, the 26-year-old who was a senior court officer for the State Office of Court Administration, in addition to being a Meadowmere volunteer firefighter. He died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Jurgens was on duty in lower Manhattan when the attack occurred. He was able to save several lives before his death, and Meyer Avenue, the street the firehouse is located on, has since been dedicated to him. These days, the majority of the work done by the department is in response to car accidents on Rockaway Turnpike. The high density of traffic leads to frequent crashes, which keep the department

1 busy. So while Meadowmere Park is a smaller district, its location means the volunteers have to keep a vigilant watch over a vulnerable area. n

‘W ’

e were feeding any where from 50 to 100 people a


Andrew Schmidt Sr. About the months following Sandy

Fire chiefs: Henry C. Heinz Wally Eiblmeyer Arthur C. Dunn Warren Lyons Bernie Saperstein James J. Hanly Joseph Magnan Donald D. MacFadden Thomas J. Henry Valentine Kern Robert MacFadden John Naro Andrew G. Schmitt Robert MacFadden William Howie Alfred A. Spitzer Dennis Marcel William York Robert MacFadden Timothy Ferris Edward Samuelson

Anthony R. Guastella Scott K. Howie Robert A. Isacs William York Andrew G. Schmitt Jr. Stephen MacFadden Victor C Zatto Michael Schmitt Mike York Jeff Silva Scott Howie Victor C Zatto Kevin Carrero Current chief: Andrew Schmidt jr First assistant chief: Roger Vargas Second assistant chief : Kevin Carrero

2 1- Kevin Carrero, who was chief in 2012, cooked up scrambled for residents after Hurricane Sandy devastated Meadowmere Park, an island community. Carrero was the Herald’s Person of the Year in 2012. Photo by Jeff Bessen/Herald 2- Photographs and citations tell the proud history of the Meadowmere Park department. Photo by Tyler Marko/Herald

Meadowmere Park Fire Department


First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017



3- The exterior of the Meadowmere Park firehouse has hardly changed since the 1950s. 4- Awards like this one adorn the firehouse walls. 5- The Meadowmere Park firehouse in 1953.








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lways conduct myself, on and off duty, in a manner that reflects positively on myself, my department and the fire • Aservice in general. A ccept for my actions and for the consequences of my actions. • Supportresponsibility the concept of fairness and the value of diverse thoughts and opinions. • Avoid situations that would affect the credibility or public perception of the fire service profession. • Be truthful and honest at all adversely times and report instances of cheating or other dishonest acts that compromise the • integrity of the fire service. onduct my personal affairs in a manner that does not improperly influence the performance of my duties, or bring • Cdiscredit to my organization. B e respectful conscious of each member’s safety and welfare. • Recognize thatandI serve in a position of public trust that requires stewardship in the honest and efficient use of • publicly owned resources, including uniforms, facilities, vehicles and equipment and that these are protected from misuse and theft. Exercise professionalism, competence, respect and loyalty in the performance of my duties and use information, confidential or otherwise, gained by virtue of my position, only to benefit those I am entrusted to serve. Avoid financial investments, outside employment, outside business interests or activities that conflict with or are enhanced by my official position or have the potential to create the perception of impropriety. Never propose or accept personal rewards, special privileges, benefits, advancement, honors or gifts that may create a conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof. Never engage in activities involving alcohol or other substance use or abuse that can impair my mental state or the performance of my duties and compromise safety. Never discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual preference, medical condition or handicap. Never harass, intimidate or threaten fellow members of the service or the public and stop or report the actions of other firefighters who engage in such behaviors. Responsibly use social networking, electronic communications, or other media technology opportunities in a manner that does not discredit, dishonor or embarrass my organization, the fire service and the public. I also understand that failure to resolve or report inappropriate use of this media equates to condoning this behavior. n

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First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

I understand that I have the responsibility to conduct myself in a manner that reflects proper ethical behavior and integrity. In so doing, I will help foster a continuing positive public perception of the fire service. Therefore, I pledge the following…

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August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


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1- The Meadowmere Park Fire Department. 2- Hewlett Fire Department and District headquarters. 3- The Inwood Fire House. 4- The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department. 5- The Woodmere Fire Department. Photos by Bill Kelly/Herald



First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017

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August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers

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tions. Install CO detectors near bedrooms and sources of carbon monoxide, such as furnaces, hot-water heaters and stoves. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for placement and mounting height. Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds. Test CO alarms at least once a month. Replace them according to manufacturer instructions. If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the batteries are low, replace them. If signal still sounds, call the fire department. If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh-air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh-air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.

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A person can be poisoned by even a small amount of carbon monoxide over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time. According to statistics, fire departments across the nation respond to an average of nine CO-related calls per hour. CO alarms should be installed in a central • location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other loca-

• KDeep the chimney vent pipes clean. o not idle your car in an attached garage. • Never use a gas oven to heat a home. • Do not burn wood or coal indoors without • proper venting. Never use gas or charcoal grills indoors or • even in garage. ave fuel-burning appliances inspected • Hannually by a trained professional. n 1- Fire officials say there should be at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and one in every bedroom. 2- Fire officials say that you should immediately leave your home when either the smoke or carbon monoxide sounds and move quickly to a safe location. Otherwise, the results could be disastrous. Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons

First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers — August 10, 2017


South Nassau salutes our first responders … everyday heroes!

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August 10, 2017 — First On The Scene — Herald Community Newspapers


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Nassau first on the scene 08 10 2017  

Nassau first on the scene 08 10 2017