An electrical fire broke out on the second floor of the Nassau University Medical Center’s Dynamic Care Building in East Meadow on Nov. 24 at 5:21 a.m.
As East Meadow Fire Department volunteers awoke to their radios for a General Alarm for All Stations, a pre-planned response to the facility was put into play.
First out at 5:23 a.m., Chief Eric Becker was immediately informed by EMFD Communications of reports of smoke on the second and fourth floors.
Following him were assistant chiefs Paul Kosiba and Peter Cheswick, along with Safety Officer 6155.
First out, Engine 612 was on the road at 5:27 a.m., followed quickly by all six other companies.
As Chief Becker established East Meadow’s Incident Command Post in the main lobby, sirens could be heard from many directions on the outside. Taking no chances, Chief Becker requested a re-alert of the initial first-alarm assignment to ensure the urgency.
Minutes later, crews began arriving at the main lobby fully equipped, as assignments were dealt for “first in” companies to meet the attack Chiefs now reaching the fire room.
Moving towards the fire area, firefighters were met with smoke filling the hallway. A check of the fire alarm system revealed that 20 smoke heads had activated on the second floor, and one on the fourth.
With all four engine companies reporting to their pre-planned fire dept connections on the building’s exterior, interior engine company crews stretched 225 feet of attack hose line to the fire room.
With the use of thermal imaging cameras and hooks, firefighters pulled the ceiling to confirm that the small electrical fire in the ceiling had been previously knocked down with a fire extinguisher.
As the smoke began to clear, it was evident that the fire was held to its area of origin with no further extension, and no water would be needed.
With the fire in a remote area of the second floor, there was no need for any evacuation of patients.
The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office was called in to investigate the cause.
In all, 55 East Meadow volunteers handled the incident with no need for mutual aid assistance. The alarm put EMFD’s High Rise Pre-Fire Plan to work with positive results. There were no injuries reported.
John J. O'Brien is an active Ex Chief of the East Meadow Fire Department. He is the District Supervisor of the Jericho Fire District and has over 40 years of Dispatch and Supervisory experience.