Fire Police

 

The Department unit that has had the longest association with Station 2 has been the Fire Police. This unit was originally formed in 1949 as Fire Police Company 5. The first members came from the three companies formed in 1947, later members were recruited directly into Company 5. In May of 1968, Company 5 was disbanded as a company and became a Department Squad unit. All the former members of Company 5 were allowed to join any company of their choice. At the same time any member of the Fire Department was allowed to join Fire Police, in addition to his own company. Fire Police remained an active Squad, with members from every company, until July 1, 1972, when it became an independent Company 5 again. The new Company was assigned to the New Station 3 when it was completed in 1975. This time the Fire Police Company did not last as long as the first Company 5. In August of 1982, Company 5 was disbanded and its duties assumed by a Fire Police Squad again. The members of Company 5 were once again forced to join one of the other companies, most of them going back into the company that they had belonged to before Fire Police became a company. Today, Fire Police retains its squad status with its members coming from every company in the Fire Department.

The Fire Police's duties have changed a little over the years. The main duty, which has not changed, is assisting the Police with crowd control and security at the scene of an emergency, fire, or auto accident. In the 1950s, Company 5 did not have a Truck, each member used his own car to go to the scene. Since the only notice of an alarm was by sirens placed in various location within the Fire District, the Fire Policemen did not have a way of knowing where the incident was. Each member was assigned to a major intersection in the district. When an alarm was sounded the Fire Police members responded to his assigned corner and waited to see if the fire engines came his way. If a man saw the engines approaching him, he would stop all the traffic in the intersection until the engines had passed safely through the intersection and then follow them to the scene. If the equipment did not pass the intersection a Fire Policemen was protecting he would have to drive to the Fire House to find out the location of the alarm. The actions of two members of the Fire Police are noteworthy, though their names have been forgotten. One was a barber whose shop was on the East side of Little East Neck Road and 7th Street. He kept his Hat, Safety Vest, and Flashlight in his shop during working hours. When the sirens sounded an alarm he would leave his customer in the barber chair and run down to Little East Neck Road and Herzel Blvd. From this point he could see which way the engines left the Fire House, if they came his way he cleared the intersection, if they went the opposite way he went back to his customer. The other man was assigned to Little East Neck Road and Sunrise Highway. At that time Sunrise Highway was a divided highway with a grade level intersection. This Fire Policemen would park his car in the parking lot of the Carvel at the intersection. When he saw the trucks coming his way he would move his car across the two westbound lanes of traffic on Sunrise Highway and then leave the car there and run across the center divider and stand in the middle of the two eastbound lanes shutting down all traffic on the highway until all the trucks had passed safely. This practice was slowly phased