Written by GCFD
On June 19, 1837 a group of active and concerned citizens of Glen Cove, at the insistence of Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Co. held a meeting to form a fire company. This first meeting was held at the home of William M. Weeks. At this meeting the Glen Cove Fire Company No. 1 was organized, Mr. Weeks was elected Foreman (or Chief, as he would be called today). Mr. Joshua Hicks was the Assistant Foreman and Mr. Elwood Valentine was elected Secretary and Treasurer.
It was resolved that the By-Laws of the Brooklyn Company No. 8 be adopted with the exceptions and erasures made in the book of by-laws for the company at Glen Cove. At this time moneys were raised to purchase Glen Cove's first engine, which was a hand pumper known as "Old Ironsides". There were thirty members of the company at this time.
The Fire Company moved along under this name for a period of thirty years and then an act was passed by the state legislature to amend the original name, to the Pacific Engine Company, No. 1 of the Village of Glen Cove. The Constitution and the By-Laws of that organization are still on file in the Department and are the basis of some of the By-Laws we operate under today, we have modified them in many ways to fit our organization today.
The fines that we imposed upon the members in the 1860's were a lot more severe then they are today. A few examples:
1. For a delay in going to a fire, $.50
2. For leaving a drag-rope without permission, $.50
3. For leaving the Company at a fire without permission of the officer in charge, $1.00
4. If that member did not reappear before roll call, $1.50
5. For smoking at a meeting, $.25
6. For spitting on the floors or the walls, $.25
7. For wearing a hat or cap during meeting hours, $.25
8. If a member rendered himself incapable of duty from the free use of liquor, or should visit the Engine House in a state of intoxication he shall be fined $2.00
9. For disobedience of orders; for making known to any person, not a member of the company, any remarks made at a meeting; for using profane or indecent language; or for introducing religious or political subjects at either a fire or a meeting - a member shall be fined $1.00 or for a repetition of either of these offenses he may be expelled from the company. There was one other fine from between $.50 and $1.00 for any other offenses a member might do for which no specific rule was written.
It is easy to see that these firemen during the 1800's were very serious in the operation of their Company at either a fire or meeting. In their By-Laws the only thing that got them off from a fine for neglect of duty was sickness or death in their family or attendance at a funeral.
The Glen Cove Fire Department was started in 1902 by the formation of the Hook & Ladder Co. 1 and the Chemical Co. The Department was located at the intersection of School and Glen Streets. In 1903 the Pacific Company also joined and it was then a total of three companies. In 1914 another company, Engine & Hose Company No. 4 was formed in the southern part of Glen Cove, (top of Glen Cove Ave). It joined the department in 1917 and the makeup of the fire department remains that way up until today.
In 1917 the Village of Glen Cove became the City of Glen Cove and took over the administration of the fire department under the Department of Public Safety. The personnel remained Volunteers and still are to this day. The City purchases and maintains the fire apparatus and the firehouse but the operation of the department and the equipment is still in the hands of Volunteers.
Department and company officers govern our present fire department. There is a chief and three assistants running the department. Each company elects a captain and two lieutenants to assist in the company operation. The department officers hold a two-year term of office and the company officers are elected annually. Each company is responsible for the manning and up keep of its own apparatus at a fire.
In training of our firemen we use the facilities made available to us at the Nassau County Fire Academy in Bethpage, Long Island. We also hold training drills every month ranging from car fire drills, ice/water rescue drills, house fire drills to emergency response theory classes. All new members must attend fire school and training for the first five years. Training and practice is an ongoing responsibility and all members must train several times a year with department drills and with classes that address today's different emergencies.
While we are old in year, over 169 years of protecting the City of Glen Cove, we are not "old fashioned." We are operating in a very modern world with very modern thinking and we shall endeavor to keep this fire department one of the best.
glen cove fire department - 520
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