“If a man today travels to the fastest growing county in the United States, to its fastest growing township, to the largest community located therein, he finds himself standing on a corner in Centereach.” – Senator Leon Giuffreda
Est. March 9th 1933:
Early Days of C.F.D.
Forest fires were a common occurrence, and at the time there were only four acting fire wardens; George Campbell, Arthur Murray, Bill Wortley and Alvin Smith. On March 9th of 1933 a meeting was held at the “New Village School House” and there a decision was made to establish the Centereach Fire Department.
In 1933 the first firehouse was constructed by local residents and located on the corner of Washington and Elinor streets. Later that year the Department held a barn dance for the community to dedicate the firehouse and fundraise for the Department.
The department began with the original 46 members and one fire truck to respond to calls. Arthur Murray was chosen as the first Chief of the Centereach Fire Department. Member Tedddy Ferro purchased the first piece Fire Apparatus and donated it to the Department, it was a 1933 Ford Truck converted into a Chemical Truck and was stored at a gas station garage owned by member until the Firehouse was completed.
In 1939 the Centereach Fire District was formed with the Board of Fire Commissioners. The Fire District purchased the Firehouse from the Department for the price of $1 to transfer the property into the Districts name. Along with the firehouse the Board of Fire Commissioners purchased 2 new pumpers 1 being a 1939 Ford Pumper the other a 1939 Sealand Pumper, which is still used today as our Antique Parade & Ceremonial Truck.
In 1949 the Centereach Fire Department Medical Unit was created with the purchase of the first Ambulance a 1949 Cadillac converted Hearse and its first medical equipment to provide Emergency Medical Services to our District.
Formation of Companies:
The first companies were formed in April of 1956 first with Engine Company 1 & Rescue Company 1, soon followed by Engine Company 2 & Fire Police Company in December 1956.
In 1958 the Firehouse underwent renovations apparatus room was expanded with a new addition that could at the time store up to 10 trucks.
In 1965 the Centereach Fire District area began to grow and and second fire station was needed, Station 2 was built on Stony Brook Road in Lake Grove in 1967 and became the new home of Engine Company 2 .
Hook & Ladder Company 1 was formed in 1969 when the department put in service a 85′ Snorkel.
Engine Company 3 was formed in 1972, Station 3 was built in 1973 at the Department training grounds on North Howell Ave.
In 1976 Hook & Ladder Company 1 & Rescue Company 1 merged to become Emergency Company 1 (later renamed Rescue Company 4 in 2005). 1976 also saw the formation of Ambulance Company, which was our 6th Company until 1995.
By the 1970’s the Original 1933 Firehouse was beginning to show its age and was becoming crowded with the addition of newer and larger fire apparatus. In 1975 the community voted on a bond to build a new fire headquarters. Land was purchased to the south of the firehouse between Elinor St. and Virginia St.
Our present day fire Headquarters construction began in 1976 and was Completed by 1978. At the time of its completion it was one of the largest firehouses on the east coast . The original firehouse was in the location of the current parking lot and was demolished in August of 1978.
Renovations were made to Station 2 in the early 1990’s as well as a new Station 3 that was built in 2005.
Our Department has come a long way since its early days we have gone from 1 small firehouse built by its original members and firetrucks donated by members. Wearing Raincoats and roll up boots, to full bunker gear with Air Packs and special tools, and from an hearse converted into an Ambulance to 4 Ambulance equipped with the latest life saving medical equipment to help save lives.
On September 11th 2001 the Centereach Fire Department members sent help and manpower to aid the New York City area to help in the recovery effort of those lost or missing from the terror attacks on our nation. On September 11th 2012 a memorial was dedicated in front of fire headquarters with a piece of the world trade center and plaques honoring all the brave men and women lost and two Centereach reisdents who lost their lives on that day. Each year the Centereach Fire Department holds a memorial service at sundown in honor of all lost.
In September 2010 the Centereach Fire District launched its EMS program hiring Paramedics & EMT’s to assist the volunteers with the high level of EMS responses. A Paramedic is in service 24 hours a day and acts as first responder to all EMS alarms and provides Advance Life Support medical care. An EMT who provides Basic Life Support medical care and is in service 4 AM to 8 PM and responds when an additional EMT or driver when needed.
Today our department has over 200 active members, 5 Companies: Engine Company # 1, Engine Company # 2, Engine & Ladder Company # 3, Rescue Company # 4, and Fire Police Company. We are equipped with a fleet of emergency response vehicles including 5 fire engines, 2 rescue trucks, 4 ambulances, 1 ladder truck, 3 fire police vehicles, 4 Chiefs Vehicles and 2 first response vehicles all housed within the three stations strategically placed to offer equal protection for all of the Centereach Fire District residents.
In 2013 the Centereach Fire Department Celebrated its 80th. Our Brave Men & Women will keep volunteering to protect this community 24/7 365 for many years to come.