In 1889, before Nassau County had assimilated, and thirty years before there was an Incorporated Village of East Williston, a group of the citizens formed the local Fire Department. Some of their names may sound familiar such as ‘Titus’, ‘Bengeyfield,’ or ‘Devlin.’ If those men could see the East Williston Fire Department today, they would likely be both proud and in awe.
The East Williston Fire Department provides 24 hour-a-day, seven days-a-week fire and EMS service to the 2,500 residents and 890 homes of a one-square mile fire district. Answering approximately 160 emergency alarms per year, the roughly 60 members of the agency come from all walks of life. They include high school students, business leaders, local business owners, and career professional responders from numerous local and city emergency agencies.
Volunteers receive weekly training at the fire house and other local fire departments. The bulk of actual fire training is conducted at the Nassau County Fire Service Academy, where under the supervision of professional instructors, students practice in training rooms where temperatures exceed 800 degrees.
We actively participate in a number of mutual aid agreements with our neighboring fire department, these requests for service are held in very high regard by our membership. By requesting our response, adjoining agencies are voicing their faith and confidence in our equipment and abilities. Our members maintain our equipment and apparatuses in excellent condition, which when coupled with low fire losses and above average response times, keeps our fire insurance rates low.
The East Williston Fire Department utilizes the professional services of FireCom, a 24-hour professional dispatcher located in Mineola. Firecom maintains communications with utilities, law enforcement, environmental, and regional partners.
The East Williston Fire Department participates in a unique automatic mutual aid agreement with both the Nassau County Police and the Williston Park Fire Dept. In the event of a medical emergency, trained EWFD medical personnel respond with medical equipment to provide quick, on–the-spot care such as CPR or cardiac defibrillation. We are one of the few non-transporting fire departments in Nassau County who provide this service at no additional expense to residents. Our responders are NYS Emergency Medical Technicians or NYS Certified First Responders.
EWFD Response to Hazardous Material
It is often said that hazardous material response is a service that was thrust onto the fire service. Regardless, the EWFD has established a NYS NIMS typed hazardous material decontamination team. With the help of state and federal officials, an impressive array of advanced hazardous material equipment has been assembled. Whether a routine emergency or a terrorist attack, a select group of EWFD members have participated in advanced training all over the country. At no expense to local taxpayers, East Williston Firefighters have attended training in Many locations across New York and the United States, using personal time to complete this training to help the residents of East Williston This advanced training has won us mutual aid invitations for the 2008 Presidential Debate Stand-by at Hofstra University, and the Jones Beach Air Show, among others. These responders are all Hazardous Material Technicians or Specialists, requiring 40 hours of basic training.
Beyond Emergency Response
In addition to emergency response, the East Williston Fire Department organizes and participates in a number of annual community events including: Williston Day Street Fair, The East Williston Fire Department Harvest Fair, and Operation Santa, in which members deliver gifts to the children of East Williston on Christmas Eve. These events inspire interest in local businesses as well as humanitarian causes. For example, gifts that are delivered during “Operation Santa” contribute to donations that are made to multiple charities across Nassau County, targeting underprivileged children and families.
On the roads, at your child’s school, or at your doorstep, the East Williston Fire Department is committed to prompt response. We volunteer because your life depends on it. We have a worthwhile mission, a great team, and an honorable tradition traced back to our nations roots. As a result, for over 120 years, the men and women of the EWFD have provided uninterrupted volunteer emergency service without so much as one second of down-time. We band together today, just as others did in 1889, to provide the residents with the most efficient and cost effective fire service possible. Through the dogged pursuit of federal and state funding opportunities, we have amassed state of the art equipment that many larger departments still do not have access to.
History Of Our Fire Department
In the summer of 1889, 10 volunteers joined forces in the area of East Williston, Long Island to form the East Williston Hook & Ladder Co. Using their own funds, the 10–William Post, Jotham Post, Benjamin Griffin, Charles Sealey, Howard Hayden, Thomas Willis, William Griffin, Benjamin Titus, Eugene Willis, and Joseph Smith–purchased a fire house and horse-drawn firefighting equipment. Today their spirit and their commitment to protecting the community continues with the volunteer firefighters of the East Williston Fire Department.
The area protected was the original boundaries of East Williston (North to IU Willets Rd., East to Bacon Rd., West to Herricks Rd., and South to Mineola.)
The present Village Hall served as the fire house.
Jonathan Post is Chief of the East Williston Hook and Ladder Company.
F.L. Oakley is Foreman of the EW H&L Co.
The East Williston Town Firemen met for an organizational meeting to replace the H&L Co. George Clark was elected the first Captain. E.M. Rogers became Clerk and Secretary. Mr. Weeks, Mr. Oakley and Mr. Griffin drafted the first By-Laws.
The first By-Laws were adopted.
Alfred Valentine was elected Clerk of the Town Firemen.
A motion was passed at a meeting, requesting the Water Commissioners to replace the “bell” with a siren.
EW becomes incorporated and the Town Firemen became the East Williston Fire Department.