The Fire Council of the Mineola Fire Department unanimously approved the elevation of Firefighter Richard Baughan to honorary chief. This is the highest honor that the Mineola Fire Department can bestow upon a member and it is reserved for those exceptional members who have distinguished themselves through their service and dedication to the community.
Baughan joined the Mineola Fire Department in 1972. With Company No. 3, just around the corner from his home, he quickly became an asset to the company.
For the last 42 years, Baughan has continued responding to alarms as a structural Firefighter for Engine Three. A senior control technician by trade, Baughan’s career path carried him to Grumman were he worked for 38 years. Among his accomplishments was the work which he performed crafting the Lunar Module which actually traveled to the moon. This device is now displayed at The Smithsonian Institute.
Baughan’s technical expertise often found its way into various projects around the firehouse. No matter what the obstacle, he would find a way to devise a solution that not only solved the problem, but also reflected the professional touch of a perfectionist.
As you walk through Engine Three’s quarters you can see some of the results, such as the workbench and memorial roundtable which are his handiwork. There are countless other gadgets and appliances which Baughan has fabricated through the years.
Engine Company Three recognized Baughan’s dedication when they awarded him the title of honorary captain.
When the department sought to display American Flags on all of our apparatus, the Chief turned to Baughan to devise the proper carrier. He surveyed each piece of equipment and devised a carrier which would allow the department to uniformly display the flag on the first due apparatus as well as the antiques.
When Baughan retired from Grumman, he devoted even more time to the fire service. He worked painstakingly over several years on a project to restore the department’s antique fire engine.
This project takes patience and diligence, qualities which Baughan is known for.
He also dedicates countless hours to the Fire Prevention Program. Baughan can often be found leading tours through the firehouse or making a fire prevention presentation to one of the area schools.
In addition to his countless hours at the firehouse, Baughan always found time for his family. Rich and his wife Loretta raised six children in Mineola. Loretta also serves as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. The value of community service was instilled in each of their children. Laura is a former U.S. Marine. She too worked for Grumman and is now employed as a Surgical Technician at South Nassau Community hospital.
Nancy coordinates meals for Senior Citizens at the Doubleday – Babcock Senior Center in Oyster Bay.
Cathy Served in the Williston Park Fire Department. She is currently a Paramedic with the Nassau County Police Department assigned to the Fifth Precinct.
Marsha is a former member of Mineola Fire Department as well as the Lynbrook Fire Department. She continues to serve the community as a Detective in the New York City Police Department.
Their daughter, Barbara, has pursued a career as an elementary education teacher and son Richard is a high school physics teacher.
Rich and Loretta continue to enjoy spending quality time with their family, especially their grandchildren Amanda and Christina.
Baughan continues to maintain an exemplary fire record, lending valuable assistance to the daytime crew. His dedication makes him a role model for today’s firefighters.