FIRE COMPANY INFORMATION SYSTEM
Vigilant Fire Company Teams
up with Other 8th Battalion Fire Departments in
Port Washington for Numerous Alarms Over 7 Days
On Sunday, August 28, in the
wake of Hurricane Irene the Vigilant Fire
Company was requested to respond to a reported
building collapse in Port Washington along with
members from the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire
Department and the Port Washington Fire
Department. Rescue 834 with 5 technical rescue
certified firefighters responded to the collapse
under the leadership of Assistant Chief Joshua
Forst. Thankfully, the damage to the house was
not significant and no one was injured when an
exterior wall collapsed under the weight of a
On Wednesday, August 31, as the clean up from
Hurricane Irene was in full swing the Vigilant
Fire Company was requested to respond again to
Port Washington. Great Neck Vigilant Ladder 8312
and Assistant Chief Joshua Forst responded to
standby at the Port Washington Fire Department’s
headquarters on Carlton Avenue along with Engine
842 from the Plandome Fire Department and Chief
of the Plandome Fire Department Roger Goodwin.
On Friday evening, September 2, the Vigilant
Fire Company was alerted again to respond to
Port Washington, as the PWFD battled another
house fire. This time the fire was reported by a
civilian on the Long Island sound. Ambulance
8311 was sent to the scene of the fire to
standby. Engine 8314 driven by Assistant Chief
Forst stood by at the PWFD headquarters on
Carlton Avenue along with Plandome’s Chief
Goodwin and Engine 842, Albertson’s
Engine 804 and Williston
Park’s Assistant Chief John Perro and their
Tower Ladder 862.
During the standby, at approximately 1:15 AM on
Saturday September 3, the Port Washington
incident commander Chief of Department Geoffrey
Cole was notified of a reported house fire at 3
Oak Tree Lane in Sands Point. Chief Cole
requested that the standby units respond to this
alarm. Engines 8314, 842 and 804 responded with
Tower Ladder 862 and Assistant Chief Perro in
command. Upon arrival a working fire was
confirmed in the basement. A hose line was
stretched off of the Great Neck Vigilant Fire
Company’s Engine 8314 and operated by
probationary firefighter Brandon Kahen and 2nd
Lieutenant Matthew Farahnik, under the command
of 1st Lieutenant Justin Sachmechi. While
firefighters from Williston Park’s Tower Ladder
exposed the burning area other firefighters from
Albertson and Plandome started a second hose
line as a safety precaution and searched the
house for any victims.
The fire was reported under
control within 1 hour of the alarm.
On Sunday morning, at approximately 9:15 AM the
Vigilant Fire Company was requested to standby
again at the PWFD headquarters. Vigilant Engine
8314, Plandome Engine 842 and Chief Goodwin,
Roslyn “Quint” 594, Engine 566 and Chief Adam
Boll, Williston Park Ambulance 867 and Chief
Perro responded to standby for Port Washington
while they were fighting a fire in a “Collier’s
Mansion” home in Sands Point. While standing by,
the companies responded to an automatic alarm in
the Beacon Hill neighborhood. The alarm was
caused by cooking.
Later the same day, as many were preparing their
Labor Day celebrations Port Washington again
requested assistance from the neighboring
departments. A pool house in Sands Point was
ablaze and required the full attention of Port
Washington’s bravest. Back at Port Washington’s
headquarters, Great Neck Vigilant Ladder 8312,
Great Neck Alert Engine 821, Plandome Engine 842
and an Ambulance from Roslyn stood by while the
fire was extinguished.
As manpower in the volunteer fire services
diminishes and call volume increases multi
agency standbys like those described above will
become more and more common. As evidenced in the
past week, the different departments worked well
together, got their jobs done and were able to
overcome obstacles in their paths.
Given the number of potential issues, there were
none to report. The members of the agencies
involved proudly represented their organizations
in a neighbor’s greatest time of need.
Write up by Asst. Chief
Laurence Jacobs. Photo taken by Asst. Chief Josh
Great Neck’s Bravest Tackle
On Tuesday, August 23 the Vigilant Fire Company
received notice to being to prepare for a
category 1 hurricane over the coming weekend.
Hurricane Irene was building in the Atlantic
all predictions were that it would affect the
New York Metro area. This would be the first
summer weather event of this size to affect our
area since Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
Members of the Vigilant Fire Company were
notified immediately and preparations began on
Wednesday morning. Foreman Robert DeVito with 4
engineers worked Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday to ensure that apparatus, equipment,
tools and building were prepared for the
case scenario – a direct hit of the hurricane on
Long Island. Apparatus was serviced and fueled,
were cleaned, checked and fueled, equipment was
checked and fueled, and the building grounds
checked for loose debris which was secured.
By Saturday morning the final preparations were
made by Captain Micah Tucker and the membership.
Food was purchased, aeorbeds inflated and
members began arriving at the firehouse at 6 PM
Saturday prepared to stay overnight to Sunday or
possibly even Monday if needed. The 2nd floor of
firehouse served as the dormitory to more than
40 people. At 7 PM Chief Scott MacDonald briefed
assembled membership on what to expect from a
storm like Irene, how the fire company would
to alarms and gave a special safety reminder
about power lines, power poles, wind, driving
In times of regional emergencies like this one,
the Vigilant Fire Company not only serves the
community, but also is the headquarters for the
8th Battalion Emergency Operations Center that
all of Great Neck, Manhasset, Plandome, Port
Washington, Albertson, East Williston and
The EOC as it is called serves as the nexus for
all requests for assistance between the 7
Between 6 PM on Saturday and 11 PM on Sunday the
Vigilant Fire Company handled 24 alarms. Some
were requests for Emergency Medical Assistance,
some reported fires and of course there were a
handful of calls about down power lines in our
Gratefully, all the calls were handled by
Vigilant members without incident.
Write up by Asst. Chief
Great Neck’s Bravest Handle Two Fires
Occasionally Great Neck’s firefighters
are called to respond to two fires at
the same time, as it happened about ten
years ago in May 2001, when the Alert
Fire Company battled a fire at Temple
Beth-El on Old Mill Road and the
Vigilant Fire Company extinguished a
blaze on North Circle Drive in Great
Neck Estates and again on August 10,
Late in the afternoon on Wednesday,
August 10th the Alert Fire
Company was notified of a possible house
fire in Kings Point. Upon arrival Chief
Plakstis of the Alert Fire Company
confirmed a working fire and requested
the Vigilant Fire Company to send and
ambulance and a Firefighter Assistance
Team (FAST). Chief MacDonald from the
Vigilant Fire Company responded along
with the firefighters on Vigilant Ladder
8312 and Ambulance 832 and provided a
FAST truck for the house fire alongside
the EMS standby.
While Chief Plakstis was conducting his
primary search of the residence he was
notified by his dispatch center of a
reported vehicle fire on Oxford
Boulevard in Great Neck. Chief Plakstis
immediately requested that the Vigilant
Fire Company respond mutual aid to the
vehicle fire. Chief Jacobs of the
Vigilant Fire Company responded and
confirmed a working vehicle fire.
Engine 8314 from the Vigilant Fire
Company responded and extinguished the
fire on Oxford Boulevard. EMS standby
was provided by Vigilant Ambulance 831.
Although the vehicle was occupied when
the fire started there were no injuries
All Vigilant units were back in service
by 6:30 PM to protect the Great Neck
Write up by Asst. Chief Laurence Jacobs
Great Neck’s Bravest Make a Quick Stop
Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
On Wednesday, June 8th at
7:44PM, the Vigilant Fire Company was
called to respond to 7 Ridge Drive East
in the Village of Great Neck Estates,
for a report of a burning odor in the
residence. The homeowner stated that her
circuit breaker had tripped and that
there was a burning odor in the house.
Captain Tucker and Lieutenant Sachmechi
began to investigate the problem.
Firefighters used thermal imaging
technology to scan the occupancy for any
“hot spots” in the house. Upon scanning
the second floor bathroom, a hot spot
was found above the door. Vigilant
Firefighters went above the bathroom
into the attic to search for the fire.
Quickly the fire was found to be burning
in the rafters above the bathroom.
Firefighters cleared the attic and
bathroom of its contents and debris,
used water cans and an inch and
three-quarter hoseline to contain and
extinguish all fire. Firefighters opened
up the surrounding ceiling and walls to
ensure there was no further extension of
fire, and that it was completely
The Vigilant Fire Company summoned
mutual aid (assistance) from its
neighbor the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire
Department for one of its engines. Great
Neck Estates Police also assisted in
controlling traffic around the scene and
coordinated efforts with Vigilant
Incident Command. Multiple fire units
were on scene, including Engine 8314,
Ladder 8312, and Rescue 834. All units
were back in service at 10:51PM and
ready to respond to additional alarms.
Write up by Firefighter Joe Oginski &
Captain Micah Tucker. Photos taken by US
Merchant Marines Gillis & Hand
Neck’s Bravest Show Off Their Immaculate
Contraption & Respond to MVC
Thursday, May 19th, 2011
On Thursday, May 19, 2011,
members of the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company
were invited to display one of their prized
vehicles at the Beth Hagan nursery school at
Temple Israel on Old Mill Road. Temple Israel
is noteworthy in the fire service for a large
fire that occurred there on February 12, 2009.
Vigilant Firefighter Joe
Oginski who grew up at Temple Israel drove
Rescue 834 a 2006 American LaFrance Eagle Custom
Rescue to the synagogue and shared his knowledge
and skill with the students at the nursery
school and their caring teachers.
Shortly after the rescue
truck returned to headquarters the Vigilant
Firefighters and EMTs responded to a motor
vehicle collision near the Firefighter’s
Memorial Park “Jon’s Park” at Grace Avenue and
Park Place in Great Neck Plaza.
Write up by
Asst. Chief Laurence Jacobs. Photos by
Firefighter Joe Oginski and LT Matthew Farahnik.
Fire Company Hosts Extrication Drill
for USMMA EMTs
Saturday, May 7th, 2011
On Saturday, May 7th, the officers
of the Vigilant Fire Company hosted
a vehicle extrication drill for
their neighbors at the United States
Merchant Marine Academy. The
demonstration was held to help the
newest class of New York State
Emergency Medical Technicians get a
hands on experience in stabilizing a
patient that has been involved in a
serious motor vehicle accident and
the Jaws of Life are required to
extricate the entrapped patient.
The class was led by Vigilant's
Captain Tucker and Second Lieutenant
Farahnik along with the help of
Sergeant Blocker. All attending
members were instructed on basic
medical techniques including patient
stabilization, door removal,
dashboard displacement to remove a
pinned patient and roof removal if
the patient must be extricated
The partnership between the Vigilant
Fire Company and the United States
Merchant Marine Academy at Kings
Point started in 2004. Since then,
scores of midshipmen have proudly
served the Great Neck community
alongside the dedicated members of
the Vigilant Fire Company. In the
future, the EMT class of Spring 2011
will join their schoolmates and ride
the Vigilant Ambulance as well.
Write up by
LT Matthew Farahnik. Photos by MM Dan
Vigilant Firefighters Provided Special
Assistance to Southern Neighbors
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
On Wednesday May 4, 2011, at
approximately 11:30 PM the Vigilant Fire
Company was alerted to respond mutual
aid to a house fire in East Williston.
The fire located on Bengeyfield Drive in
East Williston was in a vacant house
Vigilant Fire Company's Heavy Rescue was
requested to the scene by East Williston
Chief of Department Patrick
Theodore. Chief Theodore requested 834
for its Cascade Air System to refill air
cylinders used by firefighters at the
is an unusual request for the Vigilant
members, the firefighters responded
quickly and handled their jobs with the
utmost professionalism. Chief
Theodore greatly appreciated the
response and help from his northern
By 1245 AM
on May 5th, the Vigilant firefighters
and Rescue 834 were back in service to
protect the Great Neck community.
Aharon Benelyahoo and Michael Diehl.
Write up by Asst. Chief Laurence Jacobs.
Meeting to Save Great Neck’s Ambulance
Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
On Tuesday April 5th
at 7:30 PM at the Great Neck North Middle School
the officers and members of the Vigilant Fire
Company hosted a community meeting to discuss
potential changes to the Ambulance Service
provided by the Vigilant Fire Company that are
proposed by some local elected officials in the
Great Neck Community.
The goal of the meeting was
to inform the community residents about more
than 100 year history of the Vigilant Fire
Company, the over 70 years of dedicated
ambulance service and the ongoing emergency
services provided for pennies a day to the
residents of Great Neck.
Mayor Leonard Samansky of
Saddle Rock said at the meeting ,“This
department has served the community for over 100
years. We [the Village of Saddle Rock]
made a decision to pay into an insurance policy
100 years ago in our volunteer emergency service
providers.” Mayor Samansky encouraged all
village residents to call their local elected
officials and express their opinions in this
The Vigilant Fire Company
provides fire and emergency medical services to
the Great Neck community. Formed in 1904
the 100 volunteer members respond to over 2,000
calls for emergency assistance annually.
In the last 2 years some local villages have
refused to sign a contract for these services.
They do not dispute the overall budget for the
Vigilant Fire and Ambulance services, however
there is dispute between the villages about the
allocation amongst themselves of the fees.
was recorded by Public Access Television and is
available to be seen on television. A
schedule of the airings of the meeting is
Write up by Asst. Chief
GREAT NECK’S AMBULANCE*
A community meeting
will be held at the
Great Neck North
Middle School, (77
Polo Road, Great
Neck, NY) on April 5th,
2011 at 7:30PM
movement by elected
officials to charge
services in the
attend this meeting
to obtain further
information on the
future of ambulance
services in Great
Neck. You may also
visit our Facebook
page by visiting:
VIEW OUR FACEBOOK
TO THE RIGHT.
in 24 hours in Great Neck
Monday, February 14th, 2011
On Monday, February 14,
2011 at approximately 9:15 AM the Vigilant Fire
Company was requested to respond to the Chinese
restaurant located at 178 Middle Neck Road for a
report of smoke from the building. Upon
arrival Chief of Department Scott MacDonald
advised that he had smoke showing from the roof
of the building.
Upon further investigation,
members of the Vigilant Fire Company determined
the smoke was caused by grease burning in the
exhaust system of the Chinese restaurant.
The fire was extinguished quickly.
Firefighters exposed the damaged parts of the
building to ensure that the fire had not
extended past the area of origin. The fire
was deemed under control in less than 45
minutes. The Nassau County Fire Marshal and
Department of Health were requested to respond
because a food establishment was involved.
Fire Company was back in service ready to
protect our community again by 10:30 AM.
Write up by
Asst. Chief Laurence Jacobs. Photo taken by
Chief Billy Goldfeder.
Fire Outside of Great Neck’s Nursing Home
Some 14 hours before the
fire at 178 Middle Neck Road, around 7:45 PM
there was a dumpster fire in the rear of 15 St.
Paul’s Place adjacent to the Long Island Rail
Road tracks in Great Neck Plaza. The
dumpster on the property of the Grace Plaza
Nursing Home was fully involved upon the arrival
of Vigilant Firefighters.
Vigilant Firefighters were
able to extinguish the fire with the 500 gallons
of tank water of the 2010 Ferrara Class 1 fire
engine supplemented by the hydrant just across
the street. All units were back in service
in under 1 hour from the time of the initial
Write up by
Asst. Chief Laurence Jacobs. Photo taken by
Asst. Chief Josh Forst.
Vigilant EMS Treats and Transports Early
Morning House Fire Victims
On Thursday, January 20, 2011, at approximately
5:45 AM the Vigilant Fire Company received a
requested to send an ambulance to a reported
house fire with people trapped on Wooleys Lane
between Plymouth Road and Station Road in Great
The Alert Fire Company received a notification
for an automatic fire alarm and then an
additional telephone call from a neighbor
reporting a person yelling fire and that there
were possibly people trapped. Both
residents were found by the Alert Fire Company
members on the flat garage roof of the
structure. They were assisted to the
ground using a fire department ladder. The
members of the Vigilant Fire Company treated
both civilians and transported one to North
Shore Hospital in Manhasset.
During the fire a firefighter was also slightly
injured. He was treated at the scene by Vigilant
The fire was extinguished by the Alert Fire
Company members. Both the Alert and Vigilant
units were all back in service to protect the
Great Neck community by 7 AM.
Write Up By Asst.
Jacobs. Photo by Asst. Chief
Bravest Join the Plaza’s Fall Classic Car Show
and Street Festival
September 26, 2010, the members of the Great
Neck Vigilant Fire Company participated in Great
Neck Plaza’s annual Fall Classic Car Show and
Street Festival. Located in their
customary position at the intersection of Cutter
Mill and Middle Neck Roads, the members offered
free blood pressure screenings, home safety
literature, and some firefighter treats for the
The Vigilant Fire
Company still operates a 31 year old Class ‘A’
fire engine. The 1979 American LaFrance
1500 gallon per minute pumper was on display and
it was certainly a highlight for the kids and
adults. Vigilant members spent the day giving
tours of the fire engine and allowing children
the opportunity to explore the inside and
outside of this classic piece of apparatus.
The Vigilant Fire Company brought their newest
emergency vehicle, a
2010 Chevy MedTech
RediMedic PD-168 Advanced Life Support (ALS)
Ambulance. The new acquisition is a state of the
art emergency response vehicle outfitted with
the latest in emergency medical response
equipment, LED warning lights which use less
electricity and in turn less fuel to operate,
and the most up-to-date audible warning devices
to ensure a safe and expeditious treatment and
transport on all emergency calls.
At 2:30pm, the
firefighters performed a brief demonstration on
vehicle extrication. Members showed how,
in the event of a car accident, they are able to
remove the doors of a vehicle, create a “third
door” on a two-door vehicle to remove someone
from the rear seats, displace the dashboard in
the event it was impinging in the passenger
compartment, and “flap” the roof in the event an
accident victim needed to be removed vertically.
During their time
at the street fair, the members were called away
six times for emergency calls in their response
area. In true Vigilant style, they
were able to staff their area at the street fair
and respond to each call for help from their
& Photos By Asst. Chief
R.O.C.O. ROPES TRAINING
FOR VIGIANT FIREFIGHTERS
OCTOBER 24TH, 2009
CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS
On the weekends of
October 17th and 24th, the
Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company conducted a rope
operations training class for its membership. The 50
hour class, intended to teach firefighters to
access, package, and remove victims from both high
angle and confined space scenarios, was organized
and run through ROCO: a ropes training company based
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Throughout the course
firefighters were trained on various rope
operations, as well as proper removal of victims in
emergency situations. Firefighters received
certification in ROCO.
Up By Firefighter Steven Neuhaus. Photos by
Firefighter Steven Blocker.
96 CUTTERMILL ROAD
FRIDAY, APRIL 3RD, 2009
At 8:14PM on Friday, April 3rd
2009, the Vigilant Fire Company received a telephone
alarm from the staff at 96 Cuttermill Road reporting
a burning odor on the main floor in the dining room
and kitchen area. Upon arrival, an electrical type
odor was noted upon entering the kitchen.
Firefighters used a Thermal Imaging Camera to
determine that there were two defective lighting
ballasts. Firefighters removed both of these
defective ballasts, and capped remaining wires.
Captain Charry led the investigation and ensured
that there would be no further hazards.
Upon completion of the
investigation, a further odor was noted. After
further investigation, a haze developed and centered
around the grill area. After investigating this
matter firefighters determined that a bag of towels
at the bottom of a steam table was smoldering upon
its removal. The fire in the bag was extinguished by
firefighters. Captain Charry requested the Nassau
County Fire Marshal's office to respond for further
Description by Captain
MUTUAL AID TO GREAT NECK ALERT
9 ARRANDALE AVE, C/S MIDDLE NECK ROAD
FRIDAY, MARCH 27TH, 2009
At 7:32PM, on Friday March 27th, the Vigilant Fire
Company was dispatched for mutual aid to the Great
Neck Alert Fire Company for a working structure fire
at 9 Arrandale Ave.
Upon arrival, heavy fire was visible from the right
side of the building on the second floor, extending
into the attic of the house. Vigilant firefighters
worked together with the Alert firefighters to
extinguish the fire and overhaul the structure to
ensure there were no pockets of fire remaining
hidden within the walls and ceilings.
During the initial firefighting operations, the
conditions worsened and all units were ordered to
leave the structure immediately due to potential
hazards in the building. After the fire was knocked
down from the exterior and the structure was deemed
safe, Firefighters re-entered the building for
further extinguishment of the fire. The fire
load was so heavy at times, that master streams were
used to assist in extinguishing the fire from
outside the structure. The last units were cleared
at 12:15AM and returned to quarters.
Description by Firefighter
LT Micah Tucker,
and Assistant Chief
MUTUAL AID TO M-LFD - WORKING
5 SCHENCK AVE, C/S SOUTH MIDDLE NECK RD
MARCH 25TH, 2009
At 1:54PM, the Great
Neck Vigilant Fire Company was dispatched to provide
Mutual Aid to the Manhasset Lakeville Fire
Department, for a working structure fire in a large
apartment building at 5 Schenck Ave. Chief of
Department Scott MacDonald was in charge of Vigilant
Fire Company operations, assisting him was 1st
Assistant Chief Mark Meade. Units were out the door
within moments responding to the scene, and stayed
on scene until 5:57PM.
The fire was located on the top floor of the three
story structure. Chief MacDonald additionally
requested tower ladder 8324 to respond to the scene
to assist with the removal of any other possible
victims from the building, along with roof access.
Upon arrival, Vigilant units began assisting
Manhasset Lakeville units make a push into the fire
rooms to extinguish the fire, as well as begin
forcing all doors on the third floor, in an attempt
to extricate any victims that may have been trapped
in their apartments, and bring them to safety.
Firefighters forced well over 20 doors to secure the
building and ensure the safety of all occupants.
After all occupants were confirmed removed,
Firefighters were instructed to ensure there was no
further extension of the fire by opening up all
walls and ceilings in the area of the fire.
Manhasset Lakeville Fire Department and Vigilant
Fire Company worked hand and hand, along with many
other departments from Nassau County to extinguish
this fire. The Nassau County Police department,
Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, as
well as the American Red Cross responded to this
large scale incident to assist the community in
their time of need as all the residents of the
building were displaced due to the extensive damage
sustained by the building.
Description By Firefighter
and Assistant Chief
34 GATEWAY DRIVE
FRIDAY, MARCH 27TH, 2009
On Friday, March 27th at 11:26AM, the Vigilant Fire Company responded to 34 Gateway Drive for a report of smoke from the Great Neck Estates Police Department. Units were on the road in minutes responding, and gained entry with the assistance of the Police Department. Upon arrival, units found the contents of the oven to be on fire and uncontained. Firefighters immediately extinguished the Oven Fire, and ensured that no further damage was incurred. All units were back in service within 20 minutes.
Description By Firefighter
WORKING STRUCTURE FIRE - 1 MIRRIELEES CIRCLE
SUNDAY, OCT. 19TH, 2008
On October 19th, 2008 at 8:45am the emergency phone rang at Vigilant Fire Company headquarters on Cuttermill Road reporting a house fire at 1 Mirrielees Circle in the village of Great Neck Estates.
Within two minutes, Officer Jakowski of the Great Neck Estates Police Department arrived on scene and reported a house fire which was confirmed by 1st Assistant Chief, Mark Meade upon his arrival at 8:49am.
First due engine 835 under the command of Captain Forst assisted by Lieutenant Tucker arrived minutes later, established a water source and the members stretched an 1 3/4" line to the back bedroom where the fire was located.
As this was occurring, Chief Scott MacDonald arrived, took over command, and Chief Meade entered the house to supervise interior firefighting operations.
The fire was knocked down quickly and the Vigilant's assisted by members of the Alert Fire Company and the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department performed overhaul to make sure that the fire was out. While the Vigilant's were operating at the fire, the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department ambulance responded to an ambulance call at the Grace Plaza Nursing Home.
All Vigilant Fire Company units were back in service at 10:28am.
Description by Captain Josh Forst. Photos Taken By Medic Mark Winiarski.
GREAT NECK VIGILANT TEACHES FIRE PREVENTION ON CW 11 MORNING NEWS
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6TH, 2008
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO
On Monday, October 6th, 2008, news channel CW11 spent the morning at the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company, learning Fire Prevention. Chief Scott R. MacDonald led CW11 and his crew of firefighters into the "Vigilant Tower", a structure used to demonstrate a real working structure fire. Larry from CW11 wanted to experience how dangerous a situation of this sort can be. On the second floor of the tower, it was setup to be an apartment building, including old furniture, a wooden book case and other bedroom accessories. When Chief MacDonald brought Larry to the bottom of the staircase of the 1st floor, everyone began to feel the heat, and knew that the second floor was going to be much hotter. Upon arrival to the second floor, the fire had already been ignited for only a moment or two. When the door was opened, the fire had radiated off of everything in the room, causing extreme heat, and a lot of fire. Chief MacDonald and the entire Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company had hosted this demonstration to show the public how important fire safety is, and that it could be the difference between life and death. Make sure you check and change the batteries on all of your smoke detectors, and ensure that everything is working properly and is up to date.
Description by FF Joe Oginski.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT WITH AIDED
FRIDAY, AUGUST 22ND, 2008
At 15:03, the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company was dispatched to the location of 83 Old Mill Road for an Auto Accident with 2 vehicles involved. Upon arrival, it was determined that the driver of one vehicle had fallen asleep at the wheel, colliding into a parked vehicle, driving the second vehicle over 10 feet onto the lawn of the residence. Under the command of Chief of Department MacDonald, the scene was immediately enclosed to ensure all personnel and civilians were safe. Ambulance 832 immediately responded to transport one patient to North Shore Hospital in Manhasset. All units were back in service within the hour.
Description by FF Joe Oginski. Photos Taken By Chief Scott MacDonald.
VIGILANT FIREFIGHTERS RESPOND TO NUMEROUS CALLS FOR HELP
DURING BAD WEATHER CONDITIONS
On Monday, August 11th, 2008 the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company responded to 20+ Emergency Calls. The Vigilant Fire Company was dispatched to 14 Fire/Rescue Calls, and 6 Ambulance calls. Directed by Chief of Department MacDonald, Vigilant units operated from the morning through the night responding to numerous calls for everything ranging from downed power lines to water leaks due to the severe weather condition. The first call the Vigilant’s were dispatched to was an auto accident at the intersection of Middle Neck Road & Embassy Court, which involved a two car motor vehicle accident, driving one vehicle into the structural housing of the buildings across the street. In addition, all fluids were contained and speedy dry absorbent was applied by firefighters to prevent any injury. Only a few moments later, Vigilant dispatchers received another call, for a downed power line in the vicinity of Allenwood Road & Governors Court. Due to weather conditions, there was severe flooding throughout Great Neck only causing more obstacles for the fire department to overcome. The power line then fell into a large amount of water, at which point firefighters created a safe perimeter around the area to ensure no civilians would be injured. Chief MacDonald then requested for National Grid and Keyspan to respond to the location. After being shut down, firefighters then extinguished the fire due to the downed line. At this point in time Vigilant dispatch notified all units on the road to respond to numerous additional automatic alarms caused by the weather, as well as then proceed to a residence on Hillcrest drive for a severe water leak. After firefighters entered, they shut down gas to the house to prevent any dangerous situation. Units then redirected to a residence on Greenacre Court, and after walking through the residence with a gas meter determined that there was a gas leak, at which point they immediately shut down gas to the home. Keyspan was notified for evaluation. After being directed to more automatic alarms, Vigilant units responded to a commercial store located on Middle Neck Road, for a reported basement fire. Firefighters determined that due to flooding, an electrical motor began to smolder. Power to the building was shut down, the basement was ventilated, and units were back in service within the hour. This was an extremely day for the Vigilant Fire Company, responding to emergency calls day and night, good weather or poor. We are here to serve our community.
Description by FF Joe Oginski. Photos taken by EMT's Steven Shapiro & Sara Neuhaus.
VIGILANT FIRE COMPANY RESPONDS TO AUTO ACCIDENT WITH AIDED
JUNE 27TH, 2008
On Friday, June 27th, 2008, at 15:43, the Vigilant Fire Company responded to the intersection of Bayview Avenue & Old Mill Road for a report of a 3 car accident, with multiple patients. Vigilant ambulances 831, 832, and 8311 responded to the scene to provide immediate medical attention. Under the command of Chief of Department Scott MacDonald. Vigilant ambulances transported two patients to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. All patients were safely removed from the vehicles involved in the accident, and secured for transport to the hospital. The Alert Fire Company was also on scene to provide Heavy-Rescue, responding with Rescue 828, and assisted the Vigilant Fire Company in removing all patients. All Vigilant units were back in service within the hour.
Description by Joe Oginski. Photos Taken By Chief Scott MacDonald.
Great Neck Vigilant Recognizes Volunteer for
Long-Term Dedication to Community
Vivian Gloria Meyer-McGrath, a native of Great Neck, has helped so many people in one way or another for some 50 years. She has worn many hats throughout her life - from nurse to CPR instructor to EMT - assisting others makes her feel good. On June 2nd, the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company honored Vivian for her hard work and long-standing commitment to the firehouse by dedicating an ambulance to the 70-year-old EMT.
“We truly appreciate all of Vivian’s efforts through the years. Not only has she been a mentor to many of our fire and medic personnel within Great Neck Vigilant, but she has played an integral role in helping many citizens in our neighborhood,” said Chief Scott R. MacDonald. “The generosity of Vivian’s time and her selfless acts must be commended. It is with great honor that we dedicate an ambulance in her name.”
From 1970 to 1984, Vivian was a CPR instructor at St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center; prior to that period, she was a nurse. Throughout the 1970’s, she had a desire to join her local fire company, but at the time, Long Island fire companies and departments did not accept female volunteers. In 1984, she found out through a local newspaper article that the local fire company was starting to accept women; she immediately applied. Vivian was one of a large group of women to join that inaugural year. “It was hard because we all worked and had families; you had to do the drills. But it was nice at the same time; we had a whole bunch of great women,” recalled Vivian. All of the women had regular daytime jobs at the time. Vivian worked as a manager of the Bank of New York at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
From 1996 to 1999, Vivian served as Board President of Great Neck Vigilant and then in 1999, she became Treasurer-Trustee, a position she would hold for two years.
In 2000, the Nassau Regional EMS Council named Vivian “Basic Life Support Provider of the Year”; in 1997, she was honored by the Kings Point Civic Association; and in 1995, Vivian was recognized by the Superintendent Faculty and Regiment of Mid-shipmen of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
During 2008, Vivian was added to the May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor, in which she was recognized by North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Town Clerk Leslie Gross for her contributions to the Township. Also this year, Vivian received the Nassau County Legislature's "Women Trailblazers" award; annually, the Nassau Legislature recognizes the extraordinary work of women throughout the County.
Vivian believes that people should help other people and get involved. She said, “You must do one thing at a time, and do it well.” Those are words that she says she lives by every day.
MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 26TH, 2008
On Monday May 26th the officers and members of the Vigilant Engine and Hook & Ladder Company celebrated Memorial Day by participating in the Great Neck Memorial Day Parade. Shortly before 9:00 AM on Monday, the entire company assembled in front of their headquarters on Cutter Mill Road to remember those who have paid the ultimate price in the name of our community, state and country.
Led by Chief of Department Scott MacDonald, the 63 members, 2 antique fire engines, 3 front line fire engines, 1 aerial ladder, 1 tower ladder, 1 heavy rescue, 1 mini-pumper and 3 ALS ambulances paraded down Middle Neck Road from Schenck Avenue to the Village Green in the Old Village. Following a ceremony on the Village Green and a 21 Gun Salute by members of the Kings Point Drill Team, the firefighters continued to All Saints Church for the playing of ‘Taps’ and a final salute to the somber day.
Later the same day members also participated in the Little Neck – Douglaston Memorial Day Parade as has been the tradition for the company. This parade has the largest attendance of any Memorial Day Parade in the country.
While parading the community was still protected by the qualified firefighters and EMTs of Great Neck. During the Great Neck Parade the fire company responded to an automatic alarm at an occupied multiple dwelling on Cutter Mill Road. Although 5 firefighters and 1 engine had to leave the parade to respond, there was only a minor disruption to the parade for the false alarm.
Description By Ex-Captain Laurence Jacobs. Photos Taken By Kings Point Police LT. Banville.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT - CAR VS. POLE
MAY 21ST, 2008
On Wednesday May 21, just before midnight the Vigilant Fire Company was notified of a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Bayview Avenue and Mirrielees Road. Upon arrival members found a late model BMW had missed the turn at Cutter Mill Road and stuck a telephone pole. The pole was severely damaged, and power was out in the area. Officers from the Great Neck Estates Police Department were instrumental in helping the accident victim to safety.
Commanded by 1st Assistant Chief Mark D. Meade the members from Ambulance 8311 were able to secure and transport the injured passenger from the vehicle. Firefighters lead by 1st Lieutenant Joe Kelly roped off the effected area and notified LIPA.
All Vigilant Units were back in service just around 12:30 on May 22. LIPA however continued to work through the night to restore power to their effected customers. The intersection remained closed until 2 PM Thursday Afternoon as LIPA worked in the area.
Photos & Description By Ex-Captain Laurence Jacobs.
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