Members of the Mineola Fire Department are mourning the loss of one of their own after a tragic hiking accident took the life of firefighter Andrew Desidero earlier this month.
Desidero, who was set to graduate from Binghamton University next month with a degree in mechanical engineering, grew up in Williston Park and was also a member of Boy Scout Troop 45 in Mineola. As a Scout, Desidero held many leadership positions including the role of Senior Patrol Leader and in 2016, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouting led Desidero to a love of camping and outdoor adventures too. In 2015, he and a crew of Scouts traveled through Colorado and hiked through the mountains of New Mexico. From that point on, he vowed to go back west and explore.
At 13, he joined the fire department’s junior program, went on to become a full member of the fire department at just 17-years-old and was a proud member of Company 2—The Workhorse Company. He benefited greatly from the training, experiences and friendships he gained as a volunteer firefighter.
Desidero loved to create and build things as well. For the past three years, Desidero was a member of the Binghamton Motorsports SAE Formula Car Team and served as chief engineer. Desidero hoped to race the car that the team built in Michigan this spring.
After news of the accident, Binghamton University provided students and faculty with counseling resources if they needed it.
The Mineola Fire Department paid tribute to Desidero on its Facebook page, in part, by saying.
“When Andrew was home, he was always on the move. He started a band and a detailing company that he was just kicking back up for the summer. Around the firehouse, Andrew would pitch in wherever needed. Filling in for members on leader duty, jumping into the kitchen to help cook, painting a picture of Whiskers, writing the company newsletter and much more. Andrew’s other passion though was going on outdoor adventures. During the summer you could find him at the beach either fishing or boating, he tried to go mountain biking whenever the weather allowed, and he loved to go hiking. Although he has left us all too soon we remember that Andrew was doing what he loved.”
Desiderio’s family has set up a scholarship fund in conjunction with Mineola High School on GoFundMe to remember him. As of publication, the page had raised $88,015 beating its $10,000 goal. The donations for the scholarship are currently disabled, but to see the GoFundMe page, visit www.gofundme.com/f/andrew-desiderio-memorial-scholarship-fund.
Desidero is survived by his parents, two younger brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.