By: Eden Laikin
Twenty-nine firefighters from across Nassau County were recognized and honored last week by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano in his Annual Firematic Awards Ceremony held in the Legislative Chambers of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building.
County Executive Mangano began by thanking each firefighter for the hard work and dedication they put in to protecting Nassau County’s residents and property.
“It is times, such as Superstorm Sandy, where your courage shines but it is everyday heroism that personifies our Nassau County Firefighters,” Mangano said. “We gather today to honor our brave first responders who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and consistently risk their own lives to protect our Nassau County residents. Heroism, courage and sacrifice are just three words to describe their dedication. Each and every day, firefighters wake up and respond to emergencies with a single goal: protecting the public, rarely with concern for their own safety.”
Mangano said he has always made the training and safety of Nassau’s firefighters and emergency responders one of his administration’s top priorities. Despite the severe budget crisis, he’s been able to maintain full funding at the Fire Service Academy, the Fire EMS Academy and with the help of State and Federal grants even increased the budget over the previous year.
Mangano secured funding for several VEEB training initiatives as well as for the purchase of new equipment; installed and maintained a new $54 million state-of-the-art radio communication system throughout Nassau County to support the firefighting radio communication system; constructed a new Fire Communications facility and installed new computer technology and information technology programs there and at the Fire Marshall’s office; and distributed two Motorola portable radios to each fire department for interoperability and one Motorola mobile radio for each fire department ambulance in the county.
Most recently, Nassau Fire Marshal Scott Tusa has been working to develop a Rehab Unit that all 71 fire departments when needed.
“As you can see we are working hard to arm our Fire Districts with the tools that they need to keep our residents safe,” Mangano said. “I can think of no more worthy of a cause then to support our firefighters.”
After recognizing each honoree, Mangano said, “To all of our honorees, on behalf of the 1.3 million residents of Nassau County I would like to thank you for your service to our community, we will never be able to thank you enough.”
• Chief Norman Abrams, Baldwin Fire Department
• Fire Commissioner Doug Christ, Bellerose Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Michael Croan, Sr., Bethpage Fire Department
• Chief Walter P. Griffin, Jr., East Meadow Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Nicholas Siciliano, East Williston Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Richard Hogan, Elmont Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Kenneth Fairben, Floral Park Fire Department
• Ex-Captain Hugh “Bud” Austin – posthumously, Garden City Park Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Ed Canfield, Great Neck VIG. E&H&L Co.,Inc.
• Chief Sean Simmons, Hempstead Fire Department
• Ex-Captain Roger Koopmann, Hicksville Fire Department
• Honorary Chief Iver Roslund, Locust Valley Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Frank Morris, Lynbrook Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Joseph Morris, Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department
• Chief Kevin M. Klein, Oceanside Fire Department
• Captain John Hambrook, Oyster Bay Fire Co. #1
• Ex-Chief Richard McCauley, Plainview Fire Department
• Chief Commissary Dan Blascovich, Plandome Fire Department
• Director Robert J. Kropacek, Port Washington Fire Department
• Captain Allan Williams, Roosevelt Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Robert Larsen, Roslyn Highlands H&L, E&H Co.
• Ex-Chief Peter Liotta, Roslyn Rescue H&L Co. #1
• Ex-Chief Wesley Weeks, Seaford Fire Department
• Lieutenant Richard Harris, South Floral Park Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Donald Spatz, South Hempstead Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Robert Kaplan, Syosset Fire Department
• Ex-Captain Walter Ludewig, Uniondale Fire Department
• FF Robert DiMonda, West Hempstead Fire Department
• Ex-Chief Walter Stewart, Westbury Fire Department