On Christmas morning at 6:14 a.m., radio's of East Meadow's Hook & Ladder Company 1 blared, announcing a mutual aid to the North Massapequa Fire Department, 1 Ladder to respond for a Signal 10 (Working Fire) at their North Broadway Fire Headquarters. As firefighters grabbed their car keys and headed for Station 1, East Meadow Chiefs, who were already out on an EMS call 30 minutes prior, were gathering information of the fire.
Minutes later, both Ladder 617 and Heavy Rescue 616 were manned and ready to go for the mutual aid trip. Arriving on the scene, Ladder 617 positioned to set up the aerial platform to the roof as other Ladder 1 members made their way into the building.
The fire, devastating to any community reliant on this vital service, was confined to the front of the truck room, but had caused extensive heat and smoke damage throughout the bays. Initial firefighters were unable to pull the trucks out of the building do to the intensity of the fire and explosions likely from compressed air cylinders.
Firefighters were able to confine the fire to an area of the truck room in the vicinity of their ladder truck, with no fire extension in the office areas.
In the hours that followed, Chiefs and fire district officials proudly announced that the NMFD would remain in service and the community would remain well protected, at no time being compromised thanks to the strong support of the 6th Battalion departments, and other neighboring agencies.
Amidst an overwhelming show of support, the North Massapequa Fire Department has received donations of fire equipment from far and near including a spare pumper on loan from the East Meadow Fire District. East Meadow units secured from the scene by 9 a.m.
John J. O'Brien is an active Ex Chief of the East Meadow Fire Department. He is the District Supervisor of the Jericho Fire District and has over 40 years of Dispatch and Supervisory experience.