—By Jeff Clark, Chief of the Mineola Department
I am pleased to see the Mayor and Mineola Village Board taking the path of gathering information and facts as they work through the very serious process of deciding the future of our Village for many years to come. The series of public hearings on the proposed apartment building are designed to gather and share information and dispel inaccurate and deliberately misleading statements and opinions.
There are those that are trying to confuse the issues with their own agendas and not what is in the best interest of the village. There are those who under the cover of darkness circulate anonymous flyers to our homes trying to instill fear. These flyer distributors should have the courage to stand up and be recognized or cease their juvenile activity.
Then there are those who speak at these hearings making statements as if they are facts. There is possibly nothing more dangerous than an uninformed speaker making false comments simply to have the audience applaud to feed an ego.
These ego-junkies should at the very least think before they speak. For example in spite of one speaker’s misinformed comments the Mineola Volunteer Fire Department is ready on a moment’s notice to protect all of our residents and every piece of property in Mineola.
The Mineola Fire Department is one of the most highly trained and experienced departments in Nassau County. There are 150 members with extensive experience.
Some members are or were paid in other communities as firefighters or emergency responders and bring their expertise and experience to Mineola. Our fire department, your fire department, trains twice a week on every conceivable situation that might occur from building fires to vehicle extrications to firefighter rescues. Our officers tour the new structures being built, as they are being built, to insure the safety of our firefighters with proper planning.
Our department has a training committee whose chairman is a retired NYC firefighter with over 25 years of experience. This committee brings innovative and basic techniques together to develop the best firefighter.
Mineola firefighters are surveying structures like parking garages to insure the proper means of attack in the event of a car fire or teaching fire prevention classes or digging out fire hydrants buried in snow to insure a water supply. Our members take matters into their own hands by taking classes at the Nassau County Fire Service Academy, at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (the United States Department of Homeland Security training Center) and other locations on their own time and often at their own expense.
In addition to twice a week in-house training the department attends the Nassau County Fire Service Academy on an annual basis participating in live burns in all types of structures including a six story apartment building, a townhouse, a row of stores and a residential home. This annual training occurs over a month and puts the Mineola Firefighter to extreme physical tests. Often new techniques are learned and brought back to Mineola and put into our protocols.
The village board and village residents have and continue to support the Fire Department allowing for the purchase of state of the art equipment to help us watch over our village.
The dedication of the Mineola firefighter is second to none. For example, during a recent snow storm thirty seven members left the warmth and comfort of their homes staying overnight at the firehouse sleeping on cots to insure a swift response in the event of a call.
Time and time again your firefighters leave their homes, their families and their jobs in all types of weather and at all hours of the day or night to respond to any and all situations. Is the Mineola Fire Department prepared to protect this village? Absolutely we are and will do so in force and without fail each and every time.
The men and women of the Mineola Volunteer Fire Department stand ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to do whatever it takes to protect our village, your businesses, your homes and the lives of all of our families, friends and neighbors.
I invite anyone wishing to learn more about their fire department to visit the firehouse and learn first-hand just how well equipped, well trained and well prepared we are. And after one learns of the pride, dedication and commitment they see here maybe, just maybe they will join us. But if they don’t, which certainly is OK, at least they will now know they can sleep at night knowing and hopefully appreciating who and how well they are protected.