Just in time for Fire Prevention Week, the Mineola Fire Department hosted its annual open house event at its headquarters last 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 food and more. Kids even got the opportunity to hang out with and pet some Nassau County Police Department horses in the community center parking lot across the street.
The volunteer fire department is always looking for new members to join its ranks as well.
“I joined the Mineola Volunteer Fire Department because I wanted to give back to the community, along with following in the footsteps of my father and brother,” said Christopher Strauss, who is the 1st Lieutenant of Mineola Truck Co. 2. “There are plenty of ways to give back to the community that you live in or grew up in, but the volunteer fire service is one that is on its own level. When you join, you and your family join another family that is always there for you, will help you out when you need it and most importantly does not hesitate to answer the calls for help from the community. When a neighbor is having an issue at home, they call on their local volunteer fire department to help them out, whether it be something small like a faulty detector or big like a house fire, we are there ready to go, to complete the task at hand and offer our support to our neighbors. If you are interested in joining the Mineola Volunteer Fire Department Family, stop by fire headquarters, reach out to us on the department’s social media or visit our website. We will answer every question you have.”
The fire department also has a junior fire department, who, in addition training to become firefighters when they get older, also help out at both the village Halloween party and the Christmas tree lighting, sell food and drinks at Movie Night in the Park, sell T-shirts at the street fair and make a donation to the Firemen’s Home in Hudson once a year.
“I wanted to become a junior firefighter because I wanted to explore the field of the fire service and continue to serve the community,” said Captain Dave Mulder of the junior fire department. “I would tell kids who want to join the junior fire department that it’s a very good experience even if you don’t continue after joining the juniors because you help out the community and you become better with various skills. They can contact Gary Mazur at 516-747-5860.”
“My father has been in the fire service for 32 years and he went though the juniors program so I guess you could say that I am following in his footsteps,” said junior firefighter Domingos Silva. “In the junior fire department we have trainings every Monday night and Sunday morning. Once a year, we have a rappelling training with the truck company. Engine companies do special trainings for us once a month.”
During the open house event, the department set a controlled fire to a stove and a car while curious kids and their parents looked on from the sidelines. Firefighters rushed onto the scene in their full gear to show residents how they deal with those everyday 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.
Any village resident can join the Mineola Fire Department, since the department accepts members starting at the age of 17. 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 ongoing to ensure that members are up to date on some of the most current techniques and technology.
Residents are also reminded to set their clocks back on Sunday, Nov. 3, a great opportunity for residents to replace the batteries in their smoke and CO detectors.
The Mineola Fire Department’s headquarters are located at 171 Jericho Tpke. in Mineola. For more information about the department, visit www.mineolafd.com.