The Floral Park Fire Department has maintained a stalwart presence in the community for more than a century. It boasts three station locations—Vernon Street and Floral Boulevard (headquarters), Holland Avenue north of Jericho Turnpike, and Atlantic Avenue and Pine Street—which are home to five companies: Rescue Co. #1, Hook & Ladder Co. #2, Alert Engine Co. #1, Reliance Engine Co. #2 and Active Engine Co. #3. All told, the department comprises more than 100 volunteers.
While that is an impressive number, it is down from a decade ago.
“Undoubtedly, work schedules and family obligations have played a role in the reduction,” said Trustee and Fire Commissioner Mary-Grace Tomecki at a Board of Trustees meeting on March 4. “Nonetheless, the need for committed volunteers remains as strong as ever, as Floral Park continues to boast a thriving senior community and a growing number of families. In this spirit, as your Fire Commissioner, I am asking all residents to consider the many benefits of becoming a Volunteer Firefighter in Floral Park.”
Floral Park is not the only volunteer fire department that has taken a personnel hit. In fact, it’s become somewhat of an epidemic across Nassau County. So much so, that the county has developed with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management the Volunteer Scholarship Program as an incentive for people to serve in the volunteer emergency services throughout Nassau. Under the federally funded program, volunteers who are active and in good standing in one of Nassau County’s volunteer fire companies or fire department EMS providers will be eligible to have their tuition to Nassau Community College paid. Scholarship recipients may pursue any field of study, full-time or part-time, and must maintain certain academic objectives during their course of study. They also must maintain volunteer activity and training levels throughout their paid schooling and must commit to a post-education service obligation of one year for each year of scholarship received.
“Volunteering results in no personal costs, but in fact, can only offer the reward of knowing that you are serving and safeguarding your neighbors and their homes, in their most vulnerable moments,” Trustee Tomecki said. “Along the way, I can guarantee that you will develop lifelong friendships with some of the finest men and women you will ever encounter. Beyond the tools that you will need to extinguish a fire or save a life, you will develop valuable management and teamwork skills. You will learn how to work and communicate effectively under pressure.”
The FPFD invites residents who are interested in joining the department to the Carlton Street parking lot, adjacent to Village Hall, located at One Floral Boulevard, on Sunday, April 27, from noon to 4 p.m., to meet with volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel. Interested parties are also encouraged to contact the FPFD directly at any time at 516-326-6328.
Applications for the Volunteer Scholarship Fund are posted on the Village of Floral Park website, www.fpvillage.org, and can also be picked up at Village Hall Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 pm.
Floral Park Volunteer Fire Department will participate in the Annual Statewide “RecuitNY” Weekend to help increase the number of volunteer firefighters. Manpower numbers are dropping and hopefully this will encourage more residents to become involved in the fire department.