Honoring the bravest with Firematic awards

East Rockaway's Honorary Commissioner John Van Houten among those recognized


Honorary Commissioner John Van Houten, of East Rockaway, was one of 31 individuals who were honored by Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and members of the Town Board at its Firematic Award ceremony held in the Nathan L. H. Bennett Pavilion on October 18.

“Tonight, I am proud to stand among a group of Hempstead Town’s bravest as we salute the courageous and caring individuals who volunteer their time and efforts to protect our communities,” Murray said. “No matter the time of day, or the conditions presented to them, these brave men and women are at the ready, even at the most harrowing moments, to care for their fellow citizens.”

Some of this year’s recipients were honored for heroic rescues and courageous deeds, while others were saluted for decades of services to their departments and their communities.

Van Houten has truly been a model firefighter who serves fellow residents humbly but heroically, Murray said. “John doesn’t seek the spotlight and he certainly doesn’t chase attention and awards, he simply serves the calling of volunteer firefighter with supreme dedication and superb performance.”

Beyond his prideful service to his beloved Village of East Rockaway, Van Houten also distinguished himself through a tenure as Chairman of the Nassau County 4th Battalion Association. Beyond his firematic career, John has also been a valuable member of the East Rockaway Kiwanis Club.