On National First Responders Day, the Town of Hempstead hosted its 2020 Firematic Service Awards ceremony. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this was the first-ever drive-through Firematic Awards ceremony, which was held outdoors at Town Park Point Lookout.
Over a dozen fire departments were represented with several honorees, with one of them being Mineola Fire Department’s ex-captain Carlo Nunziata.
Nunziata has been involved with the Mineola Fire Department for more than 40 years. He spent three years in the Mineola Junior Fire Department program learning about the important role first responders serve in our community. He initially answered the call to service by becoming certified as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in 1979 and began volunteering with the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
In 1981, Nunziata sought membership in Mineola FD Truck Two, but was placed on a waiting list. Rather than wait for an opening, he joined Engine Company Three and started his probationary training at the Elm Place Firehouse. This station is located alongside the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps, where he was already volunteering. In 1984, Nunziata transferred into Truck Company Two. During his 35 years of dedicated service in Truck Two he rose through the ranks of “The Workhorse Company,” serving as lieutenant for four years before taking the helm as captain from 2009-11.
Undoubtedly, Nunziata’s experience with both the fire and ambulance services influenced his career choice. He joined the NYC EMS in 1981. He served as an EMT in Queens and Brooklyn before taking an assignment on the Mobile Emergency Response Vehicle (MERV). This specialized vehicle is deployed to mass casualty incidents to provide triage to multiple aided and has the capacity to transport up to six patients. In 1996, Nunziata was promoted to lieutenant and worked in the field supervising emergency incidents from aided cases to car accidents to major fires. In 2002, he came off the road and began his tenure as a supervisor in the Emergency Medical Dispatch center. In this capacity he would coordinate the intake of 911 calls and manage the dispatch of EMS resources to these calls for service. Nunziata retired from FDNY EMS in December of 2017.
Nunziata is one of a handful of volunteers who carried two pagers. Even as he answered the fire calls, he remained active in the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Nunziata rose through the ranks to attain the ranks of third assistant, second assistant and first assistant chief. He was able to manage membership in these two volunteer emergency service organizations and that was just in his “off” time.
Throughout his years in service to the community Nunziata has remained a dedicated family man. He and his wife Barbara raised their three children Carl Thomas, Michelle Lauren and Joseph Anthony in their Mineola home. Carl T. and Joseph would go on to follow in their father’s footsteps as they joined Truck Two. Carl Thomas would also serve as captain of Truck Two before he accepted a career firefighter position with the Prince William County Virginia Fire Rescue. Joseph continues to ride the rig along with his father. Service is a common thread in the Nunziata family. Barbara serves as a nurse at NYU-Winthrop and Michelle works in the veterinary care field.
Nunziata continues to exemplify what it means to be a volunteer firefighter. He has consistently sought out additional training and worked to sharpen his skills as a firefighter. During his tenure he has completed specialized training including the assistant fire inspectors course, confined space rescue, trench rescue and hazardous materials operations. He regularly attends trainings and works with the newer members to pass on his knowledge. When the run comes in at 3 a.m. you can count on Nunziata to walk into the firehouse, gear up and get ready to go.
The Mineola Fire Department proudly presents ex-Captain Nunziata as their 2020 recipient of the Town of Hempstead Firematic Service Award.
—Submitted by Chief Robert Connolly of Mineola Fire Department