Check out the Freeport Memorial Library for more information of Photos of the Freeport Fire Department.
Drill Team During World War II, members who remained also contributed to the war struggle by offering their 1936 Ford racing truck to the war effort by serving in the Civil Defense and conducting newspaper and scrap drives.
The next racing team vehicle was a 1950 Ford pick-up with an eight foot body, four speed transmission and a 3/4 ton chassis which was acquired December 1959, which was kept until 1964, when the motorized team was disbanded.
In 2011 and 2012 the Nighthawks won the Nassau County Total Point Championships and in 2012 there were crowned New York State Old Fashioned Champions!
The Wide Awakes Drill Team dates back to the 1930s. These early teams were competitive and became one of the top old fashioned teams during the 50s and 60s. They also competed in motorized tournaments with their "B" rig. In the late 60s during the Vietnam War the team was disbanded due to a lack of young members. In 1979 the team was reformed utilizing the old equipment and from 1979 - 1993 the team finished in the top five teams of every drill they entered.
1996 proved to be a breakout year for the Wide Awakes when they won their first tournament and later both the Second Battalion and New York State Old Fashion Tournaments. Success continued in 1997 with a win in the Nassau County Drill and a tie for first place in the New York State drill. In 2006, not only did the team again repeat as State Champions they won every drill they entered.
Dead End Kids
Drill TeamExcelsior Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 has been involved in drill team competition since the birth of the Company. They have won trophies dating back to the 1880's until today. The name "The Dead End Kids" was given to the team by Chief Edward Kohout in 1941. The Dead End Kids have proved themselves to be tough competitors in any sport they entered including Department Volleyball, Football, Old Fashioned and Motorized Fire Department Racing, instilling in them a great sense of company pride.
Between 1971 and 2000 the Dead End Kids dominated old fashioned fire department racing winning a total of 27 Championships in the 2nd Battalion, 18 Nassau County Total Point Championships and 7 New York State Championships, along the way setting 14 New York State records. In 2001, the team switched from old fashion competition to the very competitive and expensive field of motorized racing.
In 2001 they only had the financial resources to purchase a “B” rig but slowly with fund raisers, sponsorships and donations they were able to acquire a “C” rig in 2002. In 2009 the motorized team opened up and had members of Engine, Hose 1 and Hose 3 compete with them. They have shown improvement every year proving themselves to be a team to be reckoned with.
Written by Freeport Fire Department
In November 1911, Russell Hose Company #2 of the Roosevelt Fire Department was formed by a group of forty members and they elected William F. Pearsall as their first foreman, F. F. Smith as 1 st Assistant Foreman and Charles Eppie as 2nd Assistant Foreman. They occupied a barn for a meeting place on the west side of Main Street, just north of Lillian Avenue. The area, between Main Street and Union Street and from Seaman A venue to Colonial Avenue, was known as Russell Park named after the great stage star Lillian Russell which is also the origin of the Company's name. Miss Russell's real name was Helen Leonard after which Leonard Avenue was also named. Their first fire apparatus was a hose reel which was replaced on November 20, 1912, when they purchased on auction Ever Ready Hose Company No. 1 's horse drawn hose wagon that was painted white.
The Company paid for all of its equipment, apparatus and property and this was done by many types of fundraisers including: a dance in 1911, a masquerade and ball, a minstrel and dance and a pie,cake and bread sale all in 1912. In 1913, the Company acquired property on Leonard Avenue and built their first firehouse at a cost of$4,000. The Company became motorized with its next apparatus, a Pope- Hartford motor truck donated by James Coward in 1916 with a hose tray body attached. In 1921, the Company acquired their next apparatus, a Fulton ton hose wagon manufactured by Fairchild Motors of Farmingdale.
Local residents of Russell Park began circulating a petition in the aspiration that their area would be annexed into the Incorporated Village of Freeport. This petition was approved by the Village Board on April 30, 1923, and Russell Park became part of the Village of Freeport. Russell Hose Company was reorganized as Hose Company No. 5 and their members added to the Freeport Fire Department roster.
The Village paid rent to the Company for the use of the firehouse, land and equipment from 1923 through 1927 when the Village purchased the building and remodeled it in 1929 with new heating and plumbing and the exterior was stuccoed and painted. There was a dance hall on the east side of the building which was torn down so that Starr Place could be cut THROUGH TO Independence Avenue.
In 1927, the members of Hose 5 were outfitted with a new fire truck, a Mack G.B. Series, Type 90 with a 120 horsepower engine equipped with a 100 gallon booster pump. This pumper was later replaced by a 1947 Mack B-85 750 gallon per minute pumper.
In 1945 or 1946,the Village acquired four lots from William Pearsall, Sr. on the west side of the firehouse and at a later date one lot behind the building which accounts for the present acreage. In 1952, construction was begun on a new firehouse on the same site as the former building. Thisstructure was completed and the dedication was held on March 15, 1953.
The next apparatus that the Company received was a 1968 Hahn that was equipped with a 1,000 gallon per minute pumper. This was follwed in 1987 by Hahn that was outfitted with a 1,500 gallon per minute singlestage pump and powered with a six cylinder diesel engine.
In April 2008, the Company's newest fire truck arrived, a 2008 Ferrara 1,500 gallon per minute pumper with a 500 gallon water tank, a 10 gallon foam tank and powered by a six cylinder diesel engine.
Written by Freeport Fire Department
The problems of policing fires by establishing fire lines, detouring of vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well as policing fire department events such as carnivals, parades and tournaments has been a vital concern since the inception of the fire department. As the village population increased so did the demands for these type of service increase.
Under the direction of the founding officers: Captain William Briggs, Lieutenant Walter Cozzens and Sergeant John Hartmann, the Squad was founded and organized on June 10, 1940. The officers held a two year term of office until 1942. The membership was expanded to eighteen members and by 1951 the Freeport Fire Council had authorized the squad to have a membership of up to thirty five members.
In the 1960s various developments and improvements were made to the squad. On September 20, 1960, the squad joined the Fire Police Association of the State of New York. In 1964, the Fire Police Squad received their first apparatus, a 1962 International Step Van. In 1965, they moved into the new fire headquarters building when Hose Co #2 granted the squad permission to share their area of the apparatus floor.
Other changes occurred in the next two decades. As the membership grew, additional equipment was required. A new apparatus was designed and in 1978, a new lime-green Chevrolet Suburban became the squad's apparatus. Some years later this apparatus was refurbished and the paint color was changed to red. This vehicle remained in service until it was replaced by a 1995 Ford, diesel powered van.
In 1985, the squad became a member of the Nassau County Fire Police Association. In November 2000, the members of the squad became county and state certified as a Fire Police Unit. The squad received a Unit Citation on March 28,2003, from the Freeport Fire Department for its conspicuous service and excellent performance at a scene of a motor vehicle accident at 145 W. Sunrise Highway. On May 11, 2005, the Fire Police Squad were the recipients of the Freeport Police Department Civilian Appreciation A ward in recognition for their service to the community.
Written by Freeport Fire Department
With over ten miles of navigable bays and canals and the waterways utilized by a mixture of recreational boaters and commercial fishermen, a need existed to provide both rescue capabilities and fire suppression to this segment of our community. In 1985, the Underwater Search and Rescue Squad was organized under the direction of Lee Tucholski and Paul Hashagen and on January 1, 1986, the squad was chartered with five divers and ten dive tenders.
The squad was outfitted with an Avon inflatable raft with an outboard engine and five complete sets of divers outfits. Each diver was required to have his own SCUBA certification, at their own expense, which is still the rule today.
The squad's membership and equipment grew with their roster increasing to ten divers and fifteen tenders along with the addition of a 26 foot Chris Craft boat and a former ambulance converted to carry the squad's equipment. In January 2006 the Christ Craft boat was replaced by a 26 foot Boston Whaler Fire Boat outfitted with twin 225 horsepower engines and a 55 O-gallon per minute Hale pump.
The squad is currently considered to be the principal dive rescue team in the County of Nassau and on Long Island. Through mutual aid agreements the squad has responded to and assisted in search and rescues in Long Beach, Baldwin, Island Park and Wantagh as well as providing service to the Freeportwaterfront community.
The members of the squad were also instrumental in forming the Nassau County Dive RescueAssociation in 1988. This organization includes the various county fire department dive and surfacerescue squads on both the north and south shores of Nassau County along with the Nassau County Police Department and the United States Coast Guard, Jones Beach Station.
Freeport F.D. Starting off in 1934 as First Aid Squad, then 1948 Emergency Relief Squad,Became Company #9 in 1959, Emergency & Floodlight Company 9 1965, then Emergency Rescue Co.9 early 80's.
Written by Freeport Fire Department
Gathered in the home of Stephen Lewis on May 25, 1895, an organizational meeting was held and a new fire company was created, Bay View Hose Company No.3. Henry Asa Nichols was elected as the first Foreman of the Company. Rules were established and among them it was decided that the Company meetings would be held on the fourth Saturday of every month at 8:00 P.M. Membership dues were ten cents per month. Members were fined fifteen cents for missing a special meeting and fifty cents for non-attendance at a fire alarm. At the close of this meeting, Nichols resigned as Foreman and Stephen Lewis was elected to that position.
The Company was equipped with a hand-drawn hose reel, jumper, 350 feet hose and a rubber play pipe. This hose reel was previously owned by Engine Company. Bay View was generally known at that time as Coe's Neck and this reel became known as the "Coe's Neck Stump Jumper."
A meeting of Bay View Hose Company was held on May 2,1896, when it was decided to purchase new uniforms of blue shirts with a white shield and white belts with blue letters. The members were required to purchase their own badge at sixty-five cents.
The Company did not have its own firehouse for storage of the apparatus or a meeting room; they would meet in the home of their foreman. The Company's first firehouse was on Atlantic Avenue, near Bayview A venue, and they had their first meeting in that building on June 30, 1899. The hose house was furnished at a cost of $64.61; six spittoons were also purchased.
Hose 3 's next apparatus was received on March 12, 1902, when Hose Company No.1 gave them their old hose wagon. In May 1908 a drop harness, which made it a more efficient horse drawn wagon, was purchased by the Company for fifty-five dollars.
On October 1911, the members of Hose 3 received their first new apparatus, a hose wagon that was manufactured by A.F. and S. C. Stewart Company, with a capacity to carry 1,000 feet of two inch rubber hose. In the Company minutes of December 26, 1911, the spelling of Bayview appears as one word for the first time. Also at this meeting it was reported that a searchlight would be mounted on the hose wagon.
Bayview purchased seven "riding rings" from Columbia Brass in July 1914. In its early days of horse- drawn trucks, a horse could only pull a limited amount of weight. For this reason six rings were hung on the doors, and the first six firemen who grabbed them after an alarm sounded won the right to go out on the truck. Others ran, rode bicycles or drove their own horses. Bayview Hose Company primarily used horses owned by Clarence and Arthur Lewis to pull the apparatus to fires and parades.
In 1916, plans for a new firehouse were reviewed by the Company and approved to be placed on 40' x 100' plot of land on Bayview Avenue, south of Atlantic A venue, which was donated by Ernest Randall. The Company moved into the new building in early 1918, and the old firehouse on Atlantic A venue,with all equipment was sold at public auction.
On January 27, 1919, the Company accepted its first motorized apparatus, a Brockway combination wagon that cost $ 3,300. In September 1923, the Company purchased a Packard truck for use by the Tournament Team, which was sold in 1927 for $150. The next fire apparatus for Hose 3 was a 1925 American LaFrance pumper.
As new technology developed in the 1930s in relation to the fire service and tactics progressed many discussions and training drills were held by the Company including the new Gamewell fire alarm system, a demonstration on artificial respiration, smoke mask drill, use of a sprinkler system that was recently installed in a local furniture store, compulsory attendance at fire school and mandatory use of gates on hydrants. A "pick-up zone" was established, in January 1940, where the truck would stop and pick-up members as they responded to a fire alarm and fire crews were designated during meetings.
During World War II the members of Hose 3 did their share for the war effort from buying defense bonds, blacking out windows in the firehouse, having members sleep in so the firehouse would be constantly manned, lowering the thermostat to 65 degrees in the winter and directing members to respond to their firehouse during monthly air raids drills. The Company Captain, Robert Johnson and the 1st Lieutenant William Noll were inducted into the service along with six other members including Pat Ulip who was wounded at Iwo Jima. A dinner was held on February 21, 1946, welcoming home the war veterans as well as a 50th Anniversary celebration of the Company.
On October 27, 1947, the Company received its next apparatus, a Seagrave 750-gallon per minute pumper, at a cost of $13,040. During the life of the truck improvements were made on it including the installation of two way radio and "pyro-blender" or "wet water" in 1955 and seat belts in 1961. Two Scott packs were placed on the vehicle in 1959.
The next apparatus for the members of Hose 3 was a Seagrave 1,000 G.P.M. pumper which was placed in service on February 21, 1967, at a cost of $45.974. In 1969 the Company received permission to begin drawing up plans for a new firehouse. After many years of delays, due to budgetary reasons,groundbreaking on the new
Written by Freeport Fire Department
As early as April 15, 1902, the Freeport Fire Department Fire Council was on recordrequesting that another fire company be formed and stationed in the Pearsall Avenue section of the village. With the village continuing to grow and expand the Village Board gave their permission and on November 15, 1911, Patriot Hose Company No. 4 was organized. On December 4, 1911,the first company meeting was held at Brooklyn Hall and they elected Hilbert Johnson as their foreman, John J. Randall 1stAssistant Foreman and John Cecil Powers 2nd Assistant Foreman.
The Company's first apparatus was the 1901 Bedell and Seaman Hose Wagon, that was formerly owned by Hose Company No.1. This wagon was kept in a barn on Pearsall A venue and the company meetings were here held in the quarters of Truck Company No.1. In December 1912, the Fire Council gave Hose 4 permission to begin using horses to pull their wagon to calls. The horses that the Company used were owned by William Briggs, who would later serve as Chief of the Freeport Fire Department.
In March 1913, the Village Board approved the sum of two thousand dollars to be utilized to procure a lot and build a firehouse for Hose 4. On May 21, 1913, the Fire Council approved that the site for the new firehouse to be a part of the easterly end of the Power House property and steps be taken for its immediate construction. This building was completed in October of that year and the Company formally moved into their new quarters on November 15, 1913.
Permission was granted to Hose Co. 4 on January 28,1914, to keep an auto in their house to draw their hose wagon to fires. The Company would receive the same amount of money per call, as an apparatus pulled by a team of horses would have earned, and this money was put into their treasury. During a fire at the Boulevard Stables, on Grand Avenue near Weberfield Avenue, on December 26, 1915, due to snow and ice no horse drawn apparatus reached the fire. Hose 4, Hose 2 and Truck Company, all motor driven, experienced no difficulty, demonstrating the "practicality of automobile apparatus." Again, on December 31, 1915, during a large fire in Hempstead's business district, the Freeport Fire Department responded to assist. Chief Pearsall, in his chiefs car with Hose 2, Hose 4 and Truck Company responded to the scene in 12 minutes.
A Selden automobile was used to pull its hose wagon to calls, however, the Company was not truly motorized until September 16, 1919, when they received their new triple combination hose wagon and pumper, a White Combination Chemical Engine and Hose Car costing $ 8,800. Chief Clarence B. Williams boastfully reported in his Annual Report that with this addition "this makes all companiesmotorized"
Hose Company No. 4's next apparatus was a 1929 Ahrens-Fox, 1,000 gallon per minute pumper. This became the first of two Ahrens- Fox apparatuses that the Company would utilize and that is the origination of the name of their tournament team as the "Foxes."
On July21,1931,Hose Co. 4's firehouse was relocated so that their new building could be erected on that site. The firehouse was moved to the intersection of North Long Beach Avenue and BrooklynAvenue, the present Exempts Hall. The corner stone was laid on August 3, 1931, and they moved into their new and present building on January 1932.
In 1949, Hose Company No. 4 replaced their 1929 Ahrens-Fox with a new Ahrens-Fox equipped with a Twin Triple HT 1,000 gallon per minute pumper.
On June 10, 1953, the Company was struck with misfortune and heartbreak when their member, Ex-Chief William F. Briggs who was acting as a fire policeman, was killed in the line of duty at N. Main Street and Lena Avenue while directing traffic. He was struck by a vehicle operated by Ex-Captain Frank D. Smith who was responding to a fire at a barn in the rear of 70 N. Main Street which was owned by Hose 4's late member, Hilbert Johnson, who was also their first foreman. Ironically, the fire was caused when workmen who had been burning rubbish at the request of Mrs. Johnson. The fire department had given her to that date to clean-up the area. Ex- Chief Briggs was the first Freeport fireman to lose his life while in the line of duty.
In July 1969, the members of Hose 4 requested and began to draw specifications for a new apparatus and in October 1971, the bid was awarded to the Ward LaFrance Corporation. Since their Ahrens-Fox was involved in an auto accident on West Sunrise Highway and South Ocean Avenue and retired from service because of a cracked block on the pump, the Company was assigned the spare pumper, a 1969 Ford 1,000 gallon per minute pumper. On May 31, 1973, the Ward LaFrance 1,250 gallon per minute pumper was placed into service.
The Department recognized the need for a special unit trained to respond to "haz-mat" assignments. This requirement was the origin of the Foam Unit, designated 214-2, and on July 1991, this unit was put in service equipped with a 1982 Chevrolet van and carrying foam and haz-mat supplies. On January 1992, this group was recognized for its actions at a scene on Hanse Avenue and St. Mary's Place by the Department's Award Committee which presented them with a Unit Citation. The apparatus assigned to the unit was later replaced with a 1986 Ford E350, which was a converted ambulance and outfitted for the purpose of greater efficiency and the ability to carry additionally required equipment.
The Company's current apparatus was received in February 1997, an R.D. Murray, ten man enclosed cab, 1,500 gallon per minute pumper equipped with an around the pump foam system.
Freeport (VigilantHose2) 1942Seagrave (canopycab)1000gpm
Freeport (EngineCo1) 1928 American LaFrancetype 155 PUMP1000 gpm
Written by: Freeport Fire Department
A proposition to organize a fire company of some sort became a topic of discussion soon after the Civil War, but it was not until the Spring 1874, after a series of meetings held in Nelson Smith's grocery, then located on Fulton Street, now Merrick Road, where neighbors sat around on potato barrels and soap boxes discussed the subject of forming a "Bucket Brigade." Throughout that spring and fall a group of citizens led by Jacob B. Smith worked on erecting a suitable apparatus, since there was no water supply, the only practical means offirefighting was with a hook, ladder and bucket company. The deep leather buckets were an important adjunct to fire apparatus in those days, for they were the only means of bringing any water at all into use at a fire.
On December 4, 1874, the Company was organized and a search for a suitable name conducted. The name that was chosen was "Excelsior" recommended by the Company's first foreman, William "Uncle Billy" H. Patterson. Patterson stated that he chose this name because "we wanted to excel all others". Patterson had experience as a fireman being a former member of Live Oak Engine Company of New York City.
By a singular coincidence the first fire the Excelsior’s were called upon to attend was in Mr. Patterson's own butcher shop. The truck was kept in a shed in the back of Mead's Bakery on the east side of Main Street near Patterson's shop. Patterson's recollections of the events were "It seemed an age before the boys got around. I pulled the truck out with one of the night bakers and got the buckets to work. We had no water supply other than the house wells. The night was bitter cold and water froze in the buckets in carrying it to the fire. The building could not be saved, but by heroic work my house was prevented from being devoured".
In May, 1882, the Company purchased a 25 x 63 foot plot of land from William Raynor for a price of$100 on the west side of Parsonage A venue, later Church Street. On this lot the Company members built the first fire house in Freeport. The Company's second apparatus was built in 1900 with the work performed by Theodore Bedell's Blacksmith Shop. Although this apparatus was intended to be hand drawn, horses, supplied from Henry Schulter's Grocery Store, could be attached and draw the apparatus to fires.
The first factory built apparatus utilized by the Company was a 1911 American LaFrance which was generally termed a fourth-sized truck and was purchased for $1,573. This truck was equipped with a hitch allowing for two or three horses to be attached. The truck measured forty feet, one inch in length and weighed about 4,000 pounds. Its equipment consisted of 234 feet of ladders, fire lines, buckets, life net, chemical extinguishers and charges, pike poles, wall hooks, door opener, battering ram, wire cutters, lineman's climbers, tin roof cutters, shovels, pitchforks and a ten- inch Rushmore Searchlight. In August 1914, the truck was motorized by the addition of a three ton Mack Tractor with a four cylinder, 50 horsepower engine at a cost of $6,000.
The next apparatus employed by the Company was a 1924 Seagrave sixty-five foot wood aerial truck,the first one placed in service on Long Island. The building needed to be expanded, due to the arrival of the new truck; the Company had outgrown the building. Early in 1936 a deal was consummated with the Village Board of Trustees that in exchange for the old firehouse and property, the Village would secure the lot directly north, owned by the Freeport Council, Jr. O.U.A.M. (Order of United American Mechanics) and build a new firehouse. The Village appropriated $45,000 for this project.
On October 7, 1929, Arthur Strassle, a member of Truck Company, was designated to receive the first medal awarded by the Department in recognition of his actions on December 27, 1928, in recovering the bodies of two young boys who had drowned while ice skating on Milburn Pond. A year later, in October 1930, in a farewell to a previous era, fire buckets were removed from service from the apparatus, after fifty-six years of service as apiece of firefighting equipment.
The new spacious Company quarters were completed on October 23, 1937, which allowed for the storage of all equipment and apparatus and future expansion. In November of 1940, a Diamond-T flood light truck was placed in service followed by a 1942 Seagrave, 100 foot steel aerial ladder truck which was the first of its kind on Long Island.
In 1961, the Company received two new apparatuses; a Mack flood light truck at a cost of $33,500 and a Seagrave 100 foot aerial ladder truck at a price of $64,800. The latter was equipped with the first enclosed tiller seat in the country. Another new addition to the fleet was received in 1972 with the arrival of an 85 foot snorkel type truck built by the Ward LaFrance Company costing $112.000. This truck was painted in a lime yellow color considered a safety color due to its high visibility, especially at night.
In 1982, an American LaFrance 100 foot aerial hook and ladder truck was received. Afterwards the Company expanded its operation by converting a 1984 Chevrolet van into a Collapse Unit. The snorkel truck was replaced in 1995 by a Spartan Tower Ladder Truck equipped with a 95 foot backer boom.
On January 4, 1989, sadness struck the Company when Thomas A. Razzano died as a result of a heart attack that he sustained as he was responding to an alarm of fire.
In 2002 an addition was added to the building, doubling the size of the quarters, in anticipation of their next apparatus, a 2004 Seagrave 100 foot aerial truck with a ten man cab. Also that year the 1990 Simon Duplex Saulsbury Rescue Truck was transferred from Emergency Rescue Company No.9 for use as a "Special Equipment Unit" and replaced the former Collapse Unit vehicle.
Written by Freeport Fire Department
After the school that was located on the northwest comer of Pine Street and South Grove Street was destroyed by fire, in January 1893, the village residents realized that fire protection was woefully inadequate. A concerned group of twenty- six residents met at Abraham 1. Goldsmith's store and formed a new fire company, Wide Awake Engine Company No.1, on July 24,1893. The members of the company then petitioned the Village Board for recognition which was granted on September 1, 1893.The company was housed in rented space at a livery stable located at 54 South Main Street. They wereequipped with a hand drawn Silsby Steamer with a jumper attached.
On May 7, 1894, the steam engine was tested and in six minutes, after the fire was started, a pressure of 33 pounds was gained and in seven and a half minutes a stream of water was thrown. Two streams were thrown through 250 feet of hose 238 feet and with 500 feet of hose about 175 feet.
In 1907, Engine Company moved to their new quarters on Church Street, south of Pine Street. Also that year a horse drawn, third size Nott Steam pumper was purchased and delivered in 1908. The Steamer was pulled to fires by horses owned by company member and former Chief William Cameron.
The steamer established a world record on October 3, 1912, by throwing a stream of water 288 feet and 2 ¾ inches. During the annual Field Day, on September 6, 1915, an exhibition was held with the steamer. At the blast of the whistle the steamer responded from its quarters to Long Beach Avenue and Olive Boulevard. While they responded Hose 2 laid 1,000 feet of hose through which the steamer was to pump. This was completed in 5 minutes and 27 seconds.
On December 31, 1915 a serious fire swept the business section of Hempstead. As one store after another was swallowed up by the flames, the Hempstead Fire Department called for Freeport's assistance. The Nott Steamer, drawn by four horses, required twenty-four minutes to arrive at the scene; compared with a twelve minute response by the motorized Freeport units. This led to an accelerated conversion towards a motorized department in Freeport and also convinced the Hempstead Fire Department to change to motorization. In 1916, the Nott Steamer was motorized by the American LaFrance Company at a cost of $4,250.00. This apparatus is now better known as "Jumbo" due to its large size and weight of 12,880 pounds.
Engine Company moved into its third firehouse in 1924 when a new Fire Headquarters building was completed on North Main Street, north of Broadway. In 1928, Jumbo was retired and placed in mothballs when their new apparatus, a 1928 American LaFrance 1,000 gallon per minute pumper was placed in service. Jumbo returned to duty in 1938 during the Williams Furniture Store fire to pump out its basement. After many hours of operation the boiler blew and she was never able to pump again.
The next apparatus for Engine Company was a 1947 American LaFrance 1,500 gallon per minute pumper.
Tragedy struck the Company on January 31, 1960, when Edward A. Johnson died from line of duty injuries sustained when Engine Company hit a telephone pole at Broadway and Henry Street while responding to a car fire on Rutland Road and Commercial Street. Injured in the accident were firefighters Ronald Bell, George Nelson, William Finley and John Jeffers.
Disaster was again to fall on the members of Engine Company when during a fire on January 14, 1978, at Shane's Discount Store and Siegel's Paint Store, on Freeport Mall, fireman Jerry Cotignola was injured. Jerry died from these injuries on January 27,1978, and a memorial tribute is dedicated to him on the southwest corner of the Village Green.
Engine Company's next apparatus, 1963 American LaFrance 1,500 gallon per minute pumper was delivered and placed into service on December 17, 1963. On July 29, 1965, a dedication was held for the new Fire Headquarters on Broadway and Henry Street, Engine Company's fourth firehouse. In1977, this apparatus was repowered with the installation of a diesel engine. This pumper was later replaced by a 1988 Hahn 2,000 gallon per minute pumper. The company is currently equipped with a 2001 American LaFrance 2,000 gallon per minute pumper and a 2003 Ford F550 personnel carrier.
Written by Freeport Fire Department
The fourth fire company in the village was formed at a meeting held in Post and Valentine's store on January 23, 1894, and thus Vigilant Hose Company No.2 was born. This new Company, under the direction of their first Foreman, Rowland H. Mayland, were housed on North Main Street and equipped with a hand-drawn hose reel and five-hundred feet of hose. Mayland was a veteran fireman from Brooklyn who later served as President of the Town of Hempstead Volunteer Firemen's Association and the later the Nassau County Firemen's Association as well as Chief of the Freeport Fire Department from 1899 - 1902.
In an article from the Nassau County Review from January 31,1902, the editor commented on the company's new uniform as "the boys will be the cynosure of all eyes when they appear in their new regalia. The new uniforms are to be of dark blue with a finewhite cord on seam of trousers. The name 'Vigilant Hose' will beon the collars. The uniforms of privates will be trimmed in silver, those of the officers in gold."
In 1902, Hose 2 received their first hose wagon, which was built by Theodore Bedell and Frank Seaman. This wagon was pulled to calls by the firemen and in 1907 a horse was then used. During a fire in Tony Elar's hotel, in May 1907 at 4:30 in the morning, on Merrick Road, east of S. Main Street this wagon was badly scorched and its horse injured when it ran uncontrolled too close to the fire. The building was completely engulfed by the fire due to a delay in notifying the fire department.
In October 1911, a heavier hose wagon was received, one which could carry more hose and equipment. In 1913, this wagon needed a team of horses which was provided by Frank Johns, who owned the bowling alley. Many of the village merchants had their horses trained so that when a fire whistle blew, the animals would stand to be un-harnessed from a delivery truck and rushed to the fire house.
Hose 2's first apparatus to be motorized arrived on October 23, 1915, when the heavy hose wagon's wood body was placed on a new worm driven chassis of a 1915 three ton Mack tractor at a cost of $1,800. The company had twice previously, 1910 and 1912, voted down the question of purchasing a motorized rig. This vehicle was refurbished in the early 1920s and its kerosene head lights and taillight and its wheels were changed.
In February 1, 1919, the members of Hose 2 moved into their new quarters on North Main Street. The building and lot cost $7,308.44. The company had originally requested a new building but in February 1916, withdrew that request so that the money could be used for a tractor for Engine Company's apparatus.
On August 20, 1920, Hose 2 requested permission to take their apparatus to Glen Falls for the State Convention. Permission was granted provided that they took their apparatus to Albany byboat.
1925 proved to be a year of changes for the members of Hose Company #2. They moved into the new Fire Headquarters building on North Main Street, almost the exact same spot that their first building stood. Also that year they received a new American LaFrance 750-gallon per minute pumper and later in July a speed wagon for use by its tournament team.
The building was renovated in 1930 at a cost of $60,000 on top of the original expenditure of $65,000 when it was built. On June 3, 1930, the racing team was given permission to purchase a twin 6 Packard from Company #2 of Oceanside for $75. In 1932, this vehicle was sold and a new Pierce Arrow tournament truck was bought which was kept until 1939. In 1942 the company's next fire apparatus was received; a Seagrave, canopy cab, 750-gallon per minute pumper and it was equipped with a booster line. This vehicle was later replaced by a 1957 Mack 1,OOO-gallon per minute pumper.
Hose Company No.2 was relocated to a new Fire Headquarters on Broadway and Henry Street in 1965 where they are currently housed. They also granted permission for the Fire Police van to be housed in their area of the apparatus floor.
On June 11, 1973, a new Ward LaFrance 1,250-gallon per minute pumper, painted lime-green, was placed into service. In December 17, 1975, 1 3/4 inch hose was placed on Hose 2’s apparatus as a pilot program, which is now the standard for an interior attack fire line. This apparatus was refurbished in February 1987, with a stainless steel back body and its color was changed to metallic blue.
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