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Mineola Fire Department hosts open house

The Mineola Fire Department hosted its annual open house event this past weekend, allowing residents to come out to see various fire demonstrations, ride around in the department’s classic 1937 Diamond T floodlight firetruck, enjoy some free hot dogs, and more.

“This year’s open house was a great experience for the children who attended as well as for the adults,” said second lieutenant of MFD Company 1, Daniel Accatino. “Our main goal is to really connect with the community and give them the opportunity to see what we do on a daily basis.”

First assistant chief of the Mineola Fire Department, Robert Connolly, said that the department’s open house is a unique opportunity for residents to interact with first responders who protect the community.

“These men and women regularly drill on the necessary tasks to provide lifesaving fire protection to our residents,” said Connolly.

Throughout the day, the department set a controlled fire to a stove and a car, which was donated by July Auto Wrecking in New Hyde Park. Firefighters rushed onto the scene in full gear to show residents how they deal with those daily dangerous situations. Also throughout the day, residents had the ample and fun opportunity to climb aboard the department’s rigs and to try on some firefighting equipment.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Mineola, you’ll need to pick up an application first.

“We will show you all three companies and you can decide which one interests you the most,” explained Accatino. “Once your application is submitted, you will be voted on by the company of your choice. Once you are officially a member of our department, you are required to go through the Nassau County Fire Academy, which includes a classroom portion called essentials, and a physical portion called primaries.”

Once a person finishes those required courses, they will then become “Class A,” which means that one can now enter a building and operate as an active interior firefighter.

“Any village resident can join the Mineola Fire Department,” said Connolly. “We accept members starting at age 17 where there is no experience necessary. All training is provided in conjunction with the Nassau County Fire Service Academy at no cost to the member. In-house training is also ongoing to ensure our members are abreast of the most current techniques and technology.”

One can come to fire headquarters located at 171 Jericho Tpke. on a Sunday morning at 10 a.m. or Monday night after 7 p.m. to meet with a captain for more information about joining the department.

For Accatino, being a volunteer within the Mineola Fire Department has changed his life for the better.

“Having the chance to help people on a daily basis, whether it’s changing a smoke detector or making an aggressive attack into a fire to try and save someone’s house, it has been extremely rewarding,” he said. “No matter how big or small the call is, we are always here for our residents. Being a firefighter brings a second home and a second family into our lives and I am grateful for that every day.”

The fire department has a busy month ahead of them. This month is Fire Prevention Month, where many local school groups will be touring the department’s fire house to receive important fire safety tips.

Connolly also wants residents to remember to set their clocks back on Sunday, Nov. 4.

“This is a perfect time to replace the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors [as well],” said Connolly. “And Santa’s workshop is already underway preparing for our annual Operation Santa program.”

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Anthony Murray is the editor of the Mineola American, New Hyde Park Illustrated News and is a contributing writer for Long Island Weekly

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