East Meadow Fire Department

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Coordinates: 40°44′00″N 73°32′20″W / 40.733295°N 73.538897°W / 40.733295; -73.538897

East Meadow Fire Department
Agency overview
Established 1922
Staffing Approx. 250 Members
EMS level ALS
Facilities and equipment
Stations 5 (and 2 offices)
Engines 5
Trucks 2
Rescues 1
Ambulances 4(3 ambulances, 1 fly car)
Official Website

The East Meadow Fire Department (EMFD) is a volunteer fire department headquartered in East Meadow, New York. As one of the larger fire districts in Nassau County (7.5 square miles), it is responsible for parts of neighboring hamlets and unincorporated communities of Levittown, Westbury, Uniondale, and East Garden City. The East Meadow Fire Department has approximately 250 members using 19 pieces of apparatus located throughout 5 Stations.

The Chief of the Department is Walter P. Griffin Jr. The First Assistant Chief is Robert W. Salvesen Jr. The Second Assistant Chief is James Kane . The Third Assistant Chief is John McGee.


The East Meadow Volunteer Firemen's Association held its first meeting on August 24, 1922. On May 19, 1927, they suggested that a Tax District be created. On December 27, 1929 a resolution was filed and on January 27, 1930, The Nassau County Board of Supervisors established the East Meadow Fire District. An election was held on February 27, 1930 and five Commissioners were elected.

The East Meadow Fire Department held its first meeting on April on April 3, 1930. The names of 36 members were listed with a notation that 22 were association members. The meeting hall and firehouse was on Maple Avenue, the current site of the Volunteers & Exempt Firemen's Benevolent Association of East Meadow.

Company 1 (now known as Hook & Ladder Company 1) manned the 1917 Mack Ladder truck with a chemical tank that was purchased from the Franklin Square & Munson Fire Department.

Company 2 (now known as Engine Company 2) held its first company meeting in January 1931. When the newly purchased 1931 GMC 500 G.P.M. pumper was delivered on March 5, 1931 they were assigned the 1917 Mack and Company 1 got the new pumper.

Arthur Brisbane, the famous publisher, donated his 1920's Peirce Arrow touring car to the fire department. The members converted it to the racing rig shown below and were known as "The Suicide Squad." A member designed the rear wheels skirts. I was used as an emergency vehicle.

A Ford Floodlight truck was purchased in 1936 and refurbished in 1940 as shown below. Members who were Fire Police and Rescue personnel manned it. It also served as an emergency transportation vehicle.

Company 2 was assigned a new 1937 Buffalo 500 G.P.M. Pumper. This truck served in two other companies before it was retired in 1961.

In 1931 the residents approved a $15,000 bond issue that provided for a firehouse on Newbridge Avenue (now East Meadow Avenue) and Park Avenue and one pumper along with other equipment. Upon completion in 1932, Company 2 moved in with the 1917 Mack Ladder truck. Company 1 remained at the Maple Avenue firehouse that was owned by the firemen's Association.

In 1936 the Commissioners purchased land adjacent to the school located off the southeast corner of Front Street and Newbridge Avenue (now East Meadow Avenue) but were unable to get the residents to approve a firehouse. Company 1 moved in with Company 2 and shared the only firehouse owned by the District at that time.

The end of WWII created a building boom and in 1947 an $86,000 bond issue was approved by just 2 votes. In 1948 a 3 bay firehouse was built on the land purchased in 1936. Company 1 moved in with the GMC pumper and the Floodlight that was used as an Emergency and Fire Police Unit. In 1949 a public referendum approved a $20,000 for the purchase of a "quadruple combination fire truck" and improvements to the alarm system. The bond issue to build a firehouse on the land that was donated by Arthur Levitt was defeated.

Hose Company 3 (now known as Engine Company 3) held its first meeting on October 29, 1948 at the Newbridge Avenue firehouse. When the bond issue for their firehouse was defeated, a surplus WWII Quonset hut was purchased and erected at Newbridge Road and Carnation Road in Levittown by volunteers of the department. On July 2, 1951 the firehouse was completed and became the quarters for Company 3.

In 1951 a $114,000 general improvement bond was approved. This provided funds for the following:(1) A firehouse at Carmen Avenue and Salisbury Park Drive in Westbury and improvements to Company 3, (2) additional land and building additions for Company 1 and 2, (3) two Ward La France 750 G.P.M. pumpers, (4) an extension of the alarm system, (5) two way radios for the trucks (6) three salaried maintenance men for the care of the equipment, buildings and alarm system.

In 1952 a one-story addition was erected to the rear wall of the Newbridge Avenue firehouse that was then called Headquarters. This added a bay a commissioner's room.

Company 4 firehouse was erected and the company went into service on January 1, 1953.

The building boom continued with the construction of dwellings and mercantile structures. With the rapid growth the responsibility of the Fire District became greater. Additional and adequate protection had to be provided for the increased population and properties.

The Fire Police and Rescue Company held its first meeting on March 9, 1953. When the famous "White GMC Heavy Rescue Truck" arrived later in the year, the Fire Police became a Squad within the company and manned the floodlight truck with no rescue or first aid duties. Rescue Company 5 has been based at the East Meadow Avenue firehouse since its inception. Fire Police were phased out in the 1960s.

Ladder Company 2 held its first meeting on March 2, 1956 at the Company 3 firehouse and was later assigned the 1950 Ward La France Quard when Company 1 got a new 85' American La France Aerial Ladder Truck.

On April 10, 1956 Engine Company 1 held its first meeting and was stationed at Headquarters with Hook & Ladder Company 1 (formally Company 1) and Rescue Company 5. The 1937 Buffalo was refurbished and assigned to them.

In 1959-60 two bays were added and the upper level was extended. In 1967 another story was added to the rear 1952 addition that became the District Boardroom.

In 1980 an Emergency Squad was created and opened by members of Engine Company 4.

In 1990 a special squad staffed by members of the Fire Department who are Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians was created. Also, a Safety Officers Squad staffed by Ex-Chiefs and Ex-Captains was formed.

Dispatch Center[edit]

The history of the alarm and members alerting system also reflects the department's commitment to give the residents the most modern and best protection a fire department can deliver. It began with a discarded Long Island locomotive rim that was purchased for $15. It was placed in front of a house located on Prospect Avenue on November 24, 1924. The rim was struck with a sledgehammer to alert the firemen who would respond and converge to the point where the smoke was seen. This system was replaced by the telephone and the sounding of the sirens for the firemen to respond to the firehouse where the location of the fire was given. Eventually, fire pull down alarm boxes were replaced with telephone alarm boxes. Since 1951, the department has had its own paid dispatchers and maintenance staff. In 1959, they pioneered with the installation and utilization of a tone activated radio alerting system. It was believed to have been the first of its kind that could select individual companies or the entire membership. Currently every member is issued a pager that is activated when his company is selected. The East Meadow Fire Department's alarm and communications equipment is the most modern available today.

In 1958, they were the first fire department in Nassau County to install a system to refill our air breathing tanks with our own cascade storage system. This was upgraded to a modern system that produces and refills our tanks.

In 1959, they established a Bureau of Fire Prevention that had fire inspections and conducted Fire Prevention Programs. This progressed to the appointment of a paid part-time District Chief Fire Inspector. Members of the department present the fire protection programs.

East Meadow Water District[edit]

On March 22, 1949 the East Meadow Water District was established and in April 1951 the one and a quarter million gallon water tank was completed. This was a major addition to our fire fighting capabilities and protection to the district. Prior to this the water supply was from 11 ground well hydrants, The Meadowbrook, ponds, water extinguishers, 5-gallon portable water tanks and water tanks on the pumpers. Our water supply is currently from 1100 hydrants supplied by approximately 130 miles of water mains. The East Meadow Water District is managed and maintained by the Town of Hempstead Water Department, which also manages the Uniondale Water District, Bowling Green Water District, Levittown Water District, and the Point Lookout-Lido Water District.


In 1960 the National Board of Fire Underwriters (now ISO) inspection, awarded us classification grade 4. We are one of the first two volunteer fire departments in the USA to be granted this fire protection classification. In 1970 the reinspection elevated us to class 3. The most recent inspection brought us within 4 points of a classification 2. A fully paid fire department would be very pleased to have this grading.

Racing and Drill Team[edit]

The East Meadow Fire Department racing teams were very outstanding when we competed in the motorized events. There are no records that indicate the "Suicide Squad" of the 1930s performed to the level of "The Meadowlarks" who were New York State Champs in 1946 and 1958. They were always top contenders in Nassau and Suffolk Counties until we retired from the motorized competition events. Currently they compete only in the old fashion tournaments.

Chiefs Association[edit]

The East Meadow Chief's Association held its first meeting on February 13. 1998. Their purpose is to support the current Chiefs and exchange ideas. They meet three times a year.

Ladies Auxiliary[edit]

The Ladies Auxiliary was established in January 1924 and served the Old Association and the East Meadow FD. They played a very important role in fund raising and are a welcome sight to members at alarms when refreshments are required. They participate as a unit in all EMFD parades. Their marching units are outstanding and have an exceptional record of awards.

Junior Fire Co.[edit]

The East Meadow Fire department has a junior fire company consisting off over 15 junior firefighters. Amongst whom are the future firefighters in training to become full-fledged firefighters once they turn 18. Although the junior firefighters do not respond to calls they are always available to help when needed.

September 11, 2001[edit]

Following the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) requested mutual aid from surrounding areas including the East Meadow Fire Department. Engine 613, Ladder 619, Rescue 616, and Ambulances 615 & 6144 were all requested and provided assistance on that day and the days that followed.

Line of Duty Deaths[edit]

  • Firefighter George Leggio Jr.
Engine Company 3
  • Ex Captain James Landrigan
Engine Company 2
September 29, 1977
  • 1st Assistant Chief Robert Reed
Engine Company 4
  • Firefighter Walter Ernst
Engine Company 4

East Meadow Fire District[edit]

The Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five unpaid elected officials, who serve a five year term. The board meets on a monthly basis to make procedures, policies and oversee the fire district.

  • Chairman: Michael L. Finkelman
  • Vice-Chairman: Scott Farber
  • Commissioner: William J. Neill
  • Commissioner: James M. Surless
  • Commissioner: Carey A. Welt
  • Supervisor: Gary J. Nauth
  • Secretary: Diane Bartone
  • Treasurer: Raymond L'Hommedieu
  • Fire Inspector: James T. Darcey

Fire Stations[edit]

  • Headquarters - 197 East Meadow Avenue, East Meadow, NY 11554
  • Station 1 - 346 East Meadow Avenue, East Meadow, NY 11554
  • Station 2 - East Meadow Avenue & Park Avenue, East Meadow, NY 11554
  • Station 3 - North Newbridge Road & Carnation Road, Levittown, NY 11756
  • Station 4 - 4 Bob Reed Lane, Westbury, NY 11590
  • Chiefs Office - 597 East Meadow Avenue, East Meadow, NY 11554
  • District Building - 197 East Meadow Avenue, East Meadow, NY 11554


  • Headquarters - Ambulance 615, Ambulance 6115, Firemedic 6199, Safety Officer 6155, Spare Engine 6114
  • Station 1 - Engine 611, Ladder 617, Heavy Rescue 616
  • Station 2 - Engine 612
  • Station 3 - Engine 613, Ladder 619
  • Station 4 - Engine 614, Ambulance 6144

Population and Protection Areas[edit]

The area includes over 14,000 residences with an estimated population of 55,000. The potential number of persons in the district is difficult to establish. There are large office buildings, the Nassau County Eisenhower Park, the United States Navy Recruiting Center, the Nassau County Jail, the 21-story Nassau University Medical Center Dynamic Care Building in addition to the facilities that support this operation. The U.S. Naval Housing at Mitchel Manor is also a location with a population that often fluctuates during tours of duty. There are several large mercantile operations that include Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Marshals along with a variety of other stores.[1]


External links[edit]