It’s the start of a new era for the Mineola Fire Department, which has been around since 1888. Earlier this month, department chiefs, council, line officers and the building committee joined the village board, along with the architectural firm, at the site of the department’s old headquarters across from village hall for a ground breaking ceremony.
“We gather here this morning to mark a historical moment in both the history of the Village of Mineola and the history of the Mineola Fire Department,” Chief of Department Andrew Martone Jr. said at the ceremony. “The previous building served the residents of Mineola and brought many great memories for over 100 years. It was a landmark in our community that served multiple purposes. It was the original firehouse of the Jericho Turnpike Engine & Hose Co.1—known now as Mineola Truck Company 2. Then when Mineola became incorporated in 1906, the next coming years they signed agreements with Mineola Hook and Ladder Co. 1—known now as Mineola Engine Company 1—and Jericho Turnpike Engine & Hose Co. 1 to form the official Mineola Fire Department. In 1925, the village offices moved their operation from the original firehouse known as Firemen’s Hall on Main Street to this current one. The fire department had one side and the village and the Mineola Police Department had the other side—both working hand-and-hand to serve the residents of Mineola.”
Martone Jr. said that seeing the headquarters come down was not easy, but he knew it was the best decision for the safety of the department and residents. In an interview with the Mineola American back in 2019, former chief of the department Robert Connolly said the headquarters would be rehabilitated or replaced due to old age.
“It is a real honor to stand here today, as we mark the start of our new Mineola Fire Department headquarters,” Martone Jr. said. “This new state-of-the-art building will serve the residents of Mineola for the next 100-plus years.”
Martone Jr. thanked the village board for moving forward with the new headquarters project on behalf of the chief’s office and village’s firefighters.
Mayor Scott Strauss, who has been an active member of Truck Company 2 since 1981, said that the new headquarters will be compliant with current National Fire Protection Association and OSHA standards.
“Will it look nice? Of course, but there is nothing fancy or over the top about it,” Strauss said. “Construction plans have been ongoing for months with actual construction starting any day. The completion date is expected to be in 14 to 16 months.”
Now that the fire department’s headquarters is out of commission for a while, where are the firefighters and fire trucks currently stationed?
“The fire department is currently responding out of the Elm Place firehouse,” Strauss explained. “The department’s front line vehicles are squeezed into its truck room. This has caused some logistical and operational issues, but the chiefs, officers and members have made solid plans to ensure the safety of our residents, business owners and our visitors. It is extremely tight, but they are making the best of it.”
Strauss also said that due to the village’s prudent fiscal planning and debt management, which was verified by rating agencies such as Moody’s, it has provided the village the opportunity to reinvest in its infrastructure.
“We seized this unique chance to redo not only our deteriorated firehouse, and build a much-needed administration building for our Water Department, but also replace aging sewer lines in our downtown,” Strauss said. “Although we feel any increase is significant, the increase for all three of these massive projects is about a dollar a month to the average resident. Not too bad for two buildings and new sewer lines in most of our downtown, all of which are absolutely critical to our safety and well-being, and are expected to serve our residents for the next 100 years.”
Strauss said that the village’s volunteer firefighters always stand ready to risk their lives for residents and their families.
“I have seen them first-hand perform heroically, giving their absolute all in the fight to save the lives of our neighbors and our properties,” he said. “Not providing them with the proper tools and facilities to do that for us would be nothing short of insulting and downright dangerous to them and to those they serve. If anyone is interested in making the incredible personal sacrifice for their friends, neighbors and community by joining our volunteer fire department, please reach out to either them directly or to us at village hall.”
According to the department’s website, the Mineola Fire Department is constantly training and updating equipment to ensure the best possible fire protection available. They also have one of the most sophisticated pre-planning systems in the volunteer service, has an award-winning Junior Fire Fighter program, and operates numerous community outreach programs throughout the year.
If you’re interested in becoming a part of the Mineola Fire Department, you can visit www.mineolafd.com, email email@example.com, or call them at 516-747-5860.
To see what the department is up to you can also visit their Facebook page.