In another chapter in the history of the East Meadow Volunteer Fire Department, Eric Becker, of Engine Company 2, proudly became the 70th Chief of the Department in our rich 89-year history.
Amid a standing room only crowd, Commissioners, Chiefs and Company officers alike, gathered on this Saturday afternoon April 6th, to officially mark the new office of all E.M.F.D. leaders.
The ceremony, led by Commissioner Scott A. Farber, is a rich tradition, one of many within the organization for as long as those can remember.
With words of gratitude, Commissioner Farber spoke from his heart about the dedication of our organization and the importance of today's ceremony.
In the first order of business, outgoing Chief of Department Philip Fertitta took the opportunity to speak of his four years as a fire chief offering his gratitude to members, family, and friends for all their support during his term.
After a rousing applause for all Chief Fertitta has accomplished, the moment of time for a new beginning had soon arrived, as Commissioner William J. Neill approached the podium calling upon First Assistant Chief Eric W. Becker.
Commissioner Neill spoke with pride and admiration of the man standing before him citing nearly 40 years of active service to the community of East Meadow, an unprecedented 11 years in the Chief's Office, a leader, a friend.
But before Commissioner Neill asked Chief Becker to raise his right hand, he instead called upon the new 2nd Lieutenant of Engine Company 2, Kurt Becker, Eric's son.
After words of admiration for his dad, it would be Lieutenant Becker having the honor to make his dad the 70th Chief of the Department.
Next up to the podium was Commissioner Scott Farber to swear in First Assistant Chief James Walsh. James, a 27-year member of Hook & Ladder Company 1 is now entering his third year in the Chief's Office.
The time now came for Commissioner James Surless to swear in Second Assistant Chief Paul Kosiba. Kosiba, a 20 plus year member from Engine Company 4, has now complete one year of outstanding service as an East Meadow Fire Chief.
To round out our Chief's Office, Commissioner Carey Welt called upon our new 3rd Asst Chief Peter S. Cheswick to accept the Oath of Office. Our department looks forward to Pete's leadership in the up coming years.
The time had now come for Chief of Department Eric Becker to take command and fill out his lineup of Fire and Rescue officers for the year 2019-2020.
Calling up his Captains, Chief Becker now set his command structure in place. Soon followed by his Company Lieutenants, Staff officers, and Junior Fire Company Officers. The groundwork was now in place for another strong set of leadership and another successful year in protecting our community.
We would like to take this time to congratulate our 2019-2020 Officers of the East Meadow Fire Department. All the very best for a safe and successful year.
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.