Messina’s grandfather Jerome joined what is now Advance, Hook, Ladder and Engine Company No. 1 in 1903. His father, Anthony, a Fire Department volunteer, stayed involved with Hose Company No. 1 for 74 years. Messina joined his father’s company in 1965, rising through the ranks to become department chief in 1979. Last year he served as president of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs — as had his father.
Messina said that the county parade and drills went smoothly, thanks to the hard work of parade Chairman Thomas Stoerger, Bob Henry, John Podolski, Chief Christopher O'Brien and the entire Bellmore Fire Department.
“I am truly honored that my department took this on and did as good a job as they did,” he said. “It required total dedication of the whole Fire Department, Ladies Auxiliary and the juniors. It was truly a major honor for me.”