Tags Posts tagged with "Terryville Fire Department"

Terryville Fire Department

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Vincent Droscoski
Prepared By the Droscoski family

Vincent A. Droscoski Jr., 85, of Port Jefferson, passed away on Friday, July 28.

Vincent was a retired fire inspector at Brookhaven National Laboratory, ex-chief of the Terryville Fire Department and ex-captain of Port Jefferson Fire Department, with over 65 years of service.

Vincent was an avid fan of the New York Giants, the New York Rangers and the New York Mets. He so loved Polish music and made the best coleslaw one ever tasted.

He is the beloved husband of Linda (née Fletcher); loving father of Jeffrey (Leanne) and Gary (Beth); cherished grandfather of Stephanie, Lauren, Kaitlyn and Jenny; and devoted brother of Margaret Valient, Barbara Cassidy, Richard (Janet), Albert, and the late Carolyn and Thomas.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Sept. 8, from 6- to 9 p.m. at the Bryant Funeral Home, 411 Old Town Road, East Setauket. Firematic Service to be held at 8:00 p.m. A memorial Mass will be on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Infant Jesus R.C. Church at St. Charles Hospital at 10:45 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, www.chsli.org/good-shepherd-hospice/ways-give; or Hope House Ministries, www.hhm.org/donate-online.

U.S. Congressman Nick LaLota, at podium. Photo by Raymond Janis

Public officials and first responders gathered Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Terryville Fire Department Station 2 in Port Jefferson Station, announcing the recent injection of federal funding to support roadway safety in the Town of Brookhaven.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program was established by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Under this law, $5 billion will be spent over the next five years to limit roadway deaths and serious injuries.

U.S. Congressman Nick LaLota (R-NY1) announced that the Town of Brookhaven was awarded $380,000 through the grant program.

“The average homeowner here on Long Island pays $14- or $15,000 in [property] taxes,” he said. “What people expect in return are safe streets, good schools and smooth roads.”

The congressman also touched upon the perceived imbalance between taxes contributed and funds received from the federal government. 

“For every dollar we send to Washington, Long Islanders get a mere 93 cents back in return investment,” LaLota said. “This infrastructure law is one of the ways that we can make that wrong right,” adding, “We can send money back to our local governments to ensure that we lower the tax burden and improve the quality of life.”

Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine. Photo by Raymond Janis

Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) thanked LaLota for facilitating the additional infrastructure money. He said reducing roadway deaths is a matter of securing the necessary investment. 

“For us to be successful, we have got to be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease,” he said.

There are “3,700 miles of roads in Brookhaven Town,” the supervisor said. “We’re concerned about our roads, and the federal dollars will help us maintain [and] make them safer.”

Town of Brookhaven Deputy Supervisor and Councilman Dan Panico (R-Manorville) also attended the event. He thanked LaLota on behalf of the Town Board.

“We have six council districts here in the Town of Brookhaven, and we want to thank Congressman LaLota for bringing this money home and let him know to keep that money coming,” he said.

Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro (R) called the press conference, saying the location was decided based on a recent nearby traffic fatality. According to him, the federal funds will go toward the town’s plan to reduce traffic fatalities on town roads to zero.

“Grants like this, programs like this … are part of a larger effort to make sure that we make our roads as safe as possible,” he said. “We know we can’t legislate morality. There are always going to be people who don’t obey speed limits or drive distracted or impaired.”

However, the highway superintendent added that local governments “can design roads safer — we can use proven traffic-calming measures.”

Losquadro said the highway department uses several measures to identify problem roadways, such as the number of accidents, fatalities and other traffic-related incidents that occur upon them. When asked which roadways the $380,000 would target, he responded, “There are a number of criteria that go into examining that.”

Representing the Terryville Fire Department was 1st assistant chief Ray Kolb, who said the department responded to approximately 4,300 calls last year, “most of which were ambulance calls.” 

Regarding the investment, he said the potential for more roadway repairs would support the work of the various first responder units within the area.

“We have paid 24-hour ambulance people, medical people, and they do a lot of our work for us,” the assistant chief said. “Anything we can get to help the safety of the roads is great.”

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File photo

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad and Arson Section detectives are investigating a fatal fire that killed a woman and critically injured her husband in Port Jefferson Station on Sunday, July 10.

Suffolk County Police Sixth Precinct officers and Terryville Fire Department firefighters responded to 58 Superior St. at 7 p.m. after a 911 caller reported a fire at the location.

John Davis, 76, was able to escape the fire and was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition. His wife, Catherine Davis, 83, died in the fire.

In addition to the Terryville Fire Department, eight fire departments also responded to the scene.

A preliminary investigation has determined the cause of the fire to be non-criminal in nature.

Amid picturesque weather, a convoy of fire trucks, tractors, music and dance groups and assorted vehicles marched through the streets of Port Jefferson for this year’s annual Fourth of July parade. 

Hosted by the local fire department, the procession included a large collection of first responders. Joining PJFD were fire departments and ambulance corps representing Terryville, Setauket, Mount Sinai and Centereach, among many others. 

Also in attendance were dance groups that twirled and danced between fire units. In a strong display of patriotism, various community groups, volunteer organizations and hospital employees made appearances as well.

Hundreds of spectators lined the village blocks to watch the spectacle as it unfolded during the late morning. The parade lasted nearly two hours in its entirety.

— Photos by Raymond Janis 

Photo by Julianne Mosher

It was certainly not an “unbearable” day.

On Sunday, Nov. 21, the Town of Brookhaven teamed up with the Red Knights Motorcycle Club NY Chapter 26 for its annual “Teddy Bear Run.”

Each year, the club holds the event to collect donations of new Teddy Bears for thousands of needy children through the Town of Brookhaven Youth Bureau INTERFACE program. 

Bikers from across the Island then ride together from the North to South shores for a participation fee and toy donation.

Stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes were donated at the Terryville Fire Department Headquarters in Port Jefferson Station where hundreds of riders met before heading to their final stop — Painter’s restaurant in Brookhaven.

“I want to thank the Red Knights Motorcycle Club for their generosity and continued support of this program,” said Supervisor Ed Romaine (R). “These contributions will make it possible for so many children in need to experience the joy of opening a gift this holiday season.”

The Red Knights are an international firefighters motorcycle club and have been co-sponsoring the Teddy Bear run for nearly two decades. 

“These guys, their day job is being heroes,” said Councilman Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook). “They spend their off-time getting involved in good causes like this and we really appreciate these guys so much.”

— All photos by Julianne Mosher 

Photo by Nicole Waldemar

Zebra Tech employees, who are also first responders, gathered on Friday, Sept. 10 at 9:45 a.m. to remember their fellow service members who lost their lives during September 11, 2001.

During the event, Zebra Emergency Response Team members came in uniform, including Scout Master Jeff Weissman, Sound Beach Fire Department Chief Darran Handshaw, Terryville Fire Department Ex-Captain Martin Sebel, Rocky Point Fire Department firefighter David Singer, Middle Island Fire Department Ex-Chief Craig Tunjian, and Sayville Community Ambulance 2nd Assistant Chief Liz White.

Weissman spoke about how his scout troop worked with Symbol (now part of Zebra Tech) employees at the building to gather 180,000 bottles of water that were trucked into Ground Zero to support the rescue and recovery efforts.

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Photo from Port Jefferson Fire Department

While members of the Port Jefferson Fire Department were out helping residents during Hurricane Ida, they had their own issues back at the village’s firehouse. 

According to the Port Jefferson Fire Department, water from the storm made its way into the firehouse, flooding the inside and submerging its antique Engine 3 in three feet of water. 

The 1946 American LaFrance’s engine crank filled with water and might have been completely ruined if it weren’t for the help of a fellow fireman.   

Danny Gruosso, a volunteer with the Terryville Fire Department and resident of Port Jefferson Station, said that this isn’t the first time he’s worked on the vintage truck known as, “The Frog.”

Photo from Port Jefferson Fire Department

Being a member of the adjacent department and a heavy equipment diesel mechanic by trade, Gruosso was asked before the COVID-19 pandemic to check the vehicle out since it was having some issues.  

“Then I get a phone call on Friday after the storm that the truck was underwater,” he said. “They called me in a panic, and I said, ‘Don’t touch it, leave it alone. Leave it in the parking lot and I’ll be down there soon.’”

Gruosso headed down to the firehouse and pulled the engine’s filters out. He drained the oil and refilled it, flushed it and cleaned it. After a three-day-long process, he was able to save the motor. 

“I was thankful that the storm was low tide because if that would have been saltwater, it would have been bad,” he said. “I still have a couple more things to just look over, but for the most part, she’s ready to rock and roll.”

A tedious project, he was happy to help out. 

“Between the two departments we’re like a family,” he said. “We always look out for each other, and we have a lot of respect for each other. It’s a good thing.”

While the antique engine survived this storm, Gruosso said he’s ready to help again if Port Jefferson sees more flooding during the rest of this season.

“I told them, if we’re going to get another storm, I’m coming down. I’ll take the day off and personally drive down here and drive it back to my house,” he said. “It won’t fit in my garage, but I live up the hill and I’ll put it in the driveway with my other trailers.”

Stock photo
Councilman Jonathan Kornreich

Please join Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich for a Special Recycling Event this Saturday, April 24th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Terryville Fire Department, 19 Jayne Blvd, Port Jefferson Station. Residents can recycle electronic waste, safely dispose of medication, and shred sensitive documents.

E-Waste Collection Recycle your old electronics. Please do not bring carbon monoxide/smoke detectors, light bulbs or batteries.

Paper Shredding  Please remove any rubber bands, binders, clips and any hard covers.

Shed the Meds! Dispose of your pills and prescriptions. They will be safely and securely collected by the local Sheriff’s Department.

*This event is for Town of Brookhaven residents only.

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The Port Jefferson and Terryville Fire Comissioner elections will be held Dec. 8. File photo by Kyle Barr

The two local fire departments are gearing up for their annual elections, both with one fire commissioner seat apiece up for vote. In both fire districts, incumbents are running unopposed and looking to retain their seats.

Commissioners are unpaid elected board members who run the district, which is a connected but distinct entity from the fire department. The district is a taxing entity whose board is elected by the residents in the district. The commissioners determine yearly budgets, go out for grants and propose bonds to maintain equipment and personnel of both the district and department.

Port Jefferson Fire District

The Port Jefferson Fire District is hosting its annual commissioner election, with current commissioner board chairman, Tom Totten, running uncontested for his seat. He has been chairman since 2006.

Totten did not respond to a request for interview by press time.

The vote will take place Dec. 8 at the firehouse located at 115 Maple Place between 3 and 9 p.m.

Terryville Fire District

The Terryville Fire District’s annual commissioner election also includes a separate proposition asking residents to approve expenditures for communications enhancements districtwide.

This year Board of Fire Commissioners chairman, James Rant, is running unopposed to retain his seat. Rant is a 36-year member of the department and has been commissioner for 10 years. He’s now seeking a third term.

In a phone interview Rant said he originally ran back in 2010 to offer his experience and knowledge to make sure people’s tax money is spent “as prudently as possible.”

This year, the pandemic has introduced numerous new strains on the department’s emergency services, an event which practically no entity from hospitals to governments had any playbook for dealing with a worldwide virus. Rant said the district and department had to scramble to procure the necessary personal protective equipment along with disinfecting supplies, all of which were an added cost in both supplies and manpower. Now, however, the commissioner said they are prepared for the current surge.

“We’ve been holding our own — obviously there was no playbook,” Rant said. “We did prepare for the surge we’re having now. We have cleaning supplies, gloves and other equipment coming up into the fall and winter season. We’re in pretty good shape.”

As far as the additional proposition, voters are being asked to authorize the district to purchase and upgrade its communication equipment and systems at a price not to exceed $783,000.

Rant said the district has been preparing for this big expenditure for the past few years, and the purchase will not impact residents’ taxes. 

“It’s moving us along with the times in terms of communications,” he said. “Good communication for a fire department’s operations is crucial.”

The purchase includes new radio technology both in the field and at base. Technology will also allow the district to adjust temperature and turn on/off lights, which will reduce energy waste and potentially save money.

The district had previously been planning to potentially place a cell tower at the station 1 firehouse on Jayne Boulevard, which would have brought in some revenue to the district, but Rant said that the decision was made a few months ago to drop those plans.

The commissioner said the issue was if the district allowed a cell tower to go up at that location then companies would need 24/7 access, and they “weren’t willing to submit our neighbors in the middle of the night have work trucks and power tools going on.”

The vote will take place Dec. 8 at the main firehouse located at 19 Jayne Blvd., Port Jefferson Station, between 2 and 9 p.m.

Terryville EMS members, including, from left, Lauren Maloney, Andrew Hoyt, Tom Fauteux, Daniel Ortiz, Jacob Parrish and Gina Brett. Photo by Kyle Barr

If we are to keep using war terms to describe the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, calling nurses and doctors “soldiers” who are “on the front lines,” whose personal protective equipment are like “tools” or “weapons” in the fight against COVID-19, then the Emergency Medical service members, whether paid or volunteer, truly are the ones who make first contact with the enemy.

Joe DiBernardo, President of the Lieutenant Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, donates masks to Kyle Matura of the Miller Place FD. Photo from DiBernardo

Though members of local EMS services said they don’t know exactly how to feel about that terminology. If anything, it’s the unknown of every situation that makes the whole thought stick.

“Every patient is a risk,” said Daniel Ortiz, an EMS member of the Terryville Fire Department. “That’s where I guess they say it’s a war zone, because you don’t know what you’re walking into.”

EMS members from all over the North Shore have experienced a heavy time of stress during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, though as the number of cases seems to have plateaued as New York enters the middle of April, these service members, both paid and volunteer, are still asking people to continue their social distancing, as we’re not out of the woods yet.

The emergency service members said they have been wearing much more gear than normal, including masks, head coverings, face shields and eye protection. Every single call they go on is in this gear, since every case is now treated like a COVID-19 situation, despite what might have been said by the caller on the phone.

“We trained for this, and I can honestly say this is the first time in 10 years that I’ve seen anybody suit up other than your annual refresher,” said Terryville member of the EMS squad Andrew Hoyt.

While the Terryville Fire District only covers about eight square miles, the Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps. covers nearly 15 square miles, dipping into both the Huntington and Smithtown townships. 

Joseph Vollers, the 3rd assistant chief of the Commack corps., said they have been helping neighboring districts with their call volumes, including Brentwood, which has been a particularly large hotspot for coronavirus cases. With that, they have gone from one to two full crews with a driver and EMT available at all times. Terryville has effectively done the same, moving from one to two ambulances available.

“It’s a pretty big area we have to cover,” Vollers said.

Other fire districts increased the load and numbers of EMTs and paramedics on a shift. The extra hard part has been decontamination, as now after every call both the people on the truck and the truck itself have to be cleaned from top to bottom. 

If the job was stressful before, the understanding that one might be potentially taking the virus home with them after each stress only adds to the level of concern. Most agreed they had never seen anything at this scale. While EMS members knew they had to be aware of contractible diseases, such as tuberculosis, flu, scabies or even bed bugs, the pandemic levels of how far the virus has spread, every single person is approached as if they have SARS-CoV-2. 

David Sterne, the Setauket Fire District Manager, said there were five cases of COVID-19 in the department, with more staying home with suspected cases. Though as of now, four of those cases have returned to work. In Terryville, they’ve had two cases out of the 15 paid paramedic staff and 25 volunteer EMTs.

“It’s stressful for a lot of reasons,” Sterne said. “We’re in their environment where there could be infectious viral loads. If a patient is sick, it could be 10 or 15 minutes to take them to the hospital … everyone fears bringing it home to their families and loved ones.”

Sterne added the district has had to make do with a lack of certain items, such as the coveted N95 masks for their medical personnel. New policy has been these masks, which are normally only supposed to be used once and then thrown away, have been used multiple times. Setauket FD had been concerned at several points with limited supplies, but with support from Suffolk County, Sterne said they are now in a relatively good spot.

But support for the fire departments are coming from all corners and some unexpected places. On Wednesday, April 15, retired FDNY Deputy Chief Joe DiBernardo, who is president of the Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, worked with y Fire Hooks Unlimited, a company that manufactures tools and supplies for firefighters and police, to deliver 100 N95 masks to the Miller Place Fire Department and 200 to the Setauket Fire Department.

Joe DiBernardo, president of the Lieutenant Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, center, donates masks to the Setauket Fire Department. Photo from DiBernardo

The memorial foundation is for DiBernardo’s son, Joe DiBernardo, who was injured in the line of duty during a tenement fire in 2005. He died as a result from his injuries in 2011. The foundation works to train and equip firefighters in need.

Now the districts have settled into the routine and have seen a small improvement in the number of calls from mid-to-late March, where the number of coronavirus deaths started to rise with startling speed. 

With suspected coronavirus patients, it wasn’t so much the usual dealing with people having injuries or back and abdominal pains, it was instead situations where a person might desperately need oxygen. While the numbers of people with heart attacks and other sudden traumas have stayed the same, EMT staff said people calling for respiratory issues tripled in the month of March.

Other, more usual calls of non-life threatening injuries dropped off significantly. EMTs said this was largely because people did not want to go to the hospital where the possibility of viral infection was that much higher.

“I think there’s people afraid to go to the hospital,” said Gina Brett, the Terryville EMS coordinator. “They say, ‘I don’t want to go to the hospital for knee pain, because I might get very sick at the hospital.’”

District officials said that despite the load, they’ve managed.

“Overall it hasn’t been exceedingly stressful where we can’t function,” Vollers said. “Our crews have been amazing at overcoming all stresses, with 2, 3, 4 calls back-to-back, they’ve done a great job.”

Despite the stress, the service members agreed their communities have been excellent in their care and even compassion. The Commack Fire Department, for example, recently held a drive where community members donated over 500 items, both nonperishable food and medical supplies. 

Otherwise, EMTs said the best thing for people to do is continue social distancing to help flatten the curve. Another suggestion is after calling 911, people should meet the EMTs and paramedics outside the home in order to best reduce first responders’ interaction with anything that may be contaminated. 

“It is an incredibly long time to have that level of awareness and vigilance,” said paramedic Dr. Lauren Moloney, an associate medical director for the Stony Brook University paramedic program. “God knows how long it’s going to go on for. That’s the hardest thing — trying to find what is your date you’re trying to get through.”

This article was amended April 16 to amend the nature of Fire Hooks Unlimited’s operations.

This article was amended April 17 to correct the name of the Commack volunteer ambulance corps.