By Eden Laikin
The annual Nassau County Firematic Awards Ceremony Monday night recognized 18 fire chiefs, captains, ex-chiefs, ex-captains, an EMT and a Deputy Assistant Secretary for a fire district.
Scott Tusa, the County’s Chief Fire Marshall, joined County Executive Ed Mangano and County Legislator Steve Rhoads, at the ceremony, calling each recipient up to the podium, one by one, to accept their award. Rhoads is an ex-chief of the Wantagh Fire Department.
A reception followed the ceremony, which took place in the Legislative Chambers of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola.
County Executive Mangano began his remarks by thanking each first responder in attendance, for the hard work and dedication they put into protecting Nassau County’s residents and property.
“It is times, such as natural disasters, where your courage shines,” he told those gathered. “But it is everyday heroism that personifies our Nassau County Firefighters.”
He 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. Bravery, valor 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,” he continued. “I have always made the training and safety of our firefighters and emergency responders one of my administration’s top priorities.”
Just last month, the County acquired a brand new hazardous materials response truck, in order to reduce response times to Fire Departments requests for HazMat Assistance. Also, there is now a “County-Wide” Rehab unit, in service and available for request by any of the 71 fire departments.
Working with the Nassau County OEM and the Nassau County Information Technology Department, County officials are preparing to upgrade the Battalion EOC’s (Emergency Operations Centers) with new computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, and cable internet access.
“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.”
He closed the ceremony by again thanking the firefighters for their service to our community.
“We will never be able to thank you enough,” he said. “
The 2015 Firematic Award Recipients were:
Ex- Chief Bruce Sparke
Ex- Captain Gerard Petti
Captain Thomas Foy
Ex-Chief William Hartzgan
Ex- Chief Raymond Ryan
Ex- Captain Herman Prophet
Ex-Chief Leonard Cherson
EMT Mauvalin Jacques
Ex-Chief Sean Simmons
Ex-President John McCormack
1st Assistant Chief Thomas Gies
Ex-Chief Emil Pape
Lt. William Efinger
Chief John Thorp, III
Honorary Chief Roger Fay
Ex-Captain Freddie Weiss
Deputy Assistant Secretary Frank Pellegrino
Ex-Chief John Olson