Highwater rescue vehicles to Port Jefferson

Highwater rescue vehicles to Port Jefferson

Port Jefferson Mayor Lauren Sheprow, PJFD Chief Anthony Barton, PJFD Commissioners David Gumbus, Charles Russo, and David Oakes (on the rig). Photo courtesy Mayor Lauren Sheprow

Supervisor Dan Panico held a press conference at Brookhaven Town Hall to announce that the Town of Brookhaven will transfer two Stewart & Stevenson LMTV Highwater Rescue Vehicles to the Port Jefferson and Mastic Beach Fire Districts. Supervisor Panico’s action comes shortly after the north shore and south shore of Brookhaven Town experienced extensive flood damage from heavy rainstorms in January. Mastic Beach and the Village of Port Jefferson experienced considerable rain and flooding, which made it extremely difficult to make rescues in the affected areas. Since the responsibility of water rescues was transferred from the Town to local fire districts, the trucks were no longer needed by the Town of Brookhaven. 

The resolution was unanimously adopted at the Feb. 1 Town Board meeting. The Highwater Rescue Vehicle donated to the Port Jefferson Fire District also includes an Inmar Hull, 4.3-meter inflatable boat with trailer.

There is no fiscal impact to the Town as the vehicles will be transferred to the Fire Districts per section 72-h of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York to provide emergency water rescue and returned to the Town if not needed in the future. It was also indicated that the Port Jefferson and Mastic Beach Fire Departments agree to use the vehicles for Mutual Aid for other Fire Districts within the Town of Brookhaven for water rescues. In the event that the Mastic Beach or Port Jefferson Fire Districts, should decide to sell either of the vehicles, the Town of Brookhaven shall have the right to request the vehicles be returned to the Town.

Supervisor Panico said, “The marked increase in the frequency of these significant rain and flooding events present challenges for local fire departments. Two of our most vulnerable coastal communities are Mastic Beach and Port Jefferson, and their fire departments need the right tools to help keep residents safe. Accordingly, we are pleased to be able to help them do their job with the donation of these Highwater rescue vehicles.”