South Farmingdale

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History of The South Farmingdale Fire Department

SFFD in the 1960's

1960 – 1970

The SFFD started operations January 1, 1961 with Chief of Department Allison Stewart at the helm and with 4 pieces of donated apparatus, (ambulance, 1938 ladder truck, 1939 pumper, 1948 floodlight truck with 250 GPM pump and one new ford pumper (750 GPM truck). The department answered 401 calls in 1961, and the fire loss was 10,000 dollars.

In 1963, the department received 3 new front line pieces of equipment; Ford Young pumper (1000 GPM pump) snorkel, rescue truck, all at a cost of $86,000.

By 1965 another 2 pieces of new apparatus, a pumper and an ambulance. In August 1967 SFFD Station 2 opened for operations. As the decade ended, 1968 was deemed the busiest year: 663 calls, 21 of the calls were working fires.

SFFD in the 1960's

SFFD in the 1970's

1970 – 1980

On October 25th the SFFD handled one of the biggest fires in Nassau County. At that time there was a signal 10 at, Rhodes Toy Store on Hempstead Turnpike, and 11 Mutual Aid Fire Departments responded. Some 200 firefighters, 20 were injured most from smoke poisoning (the medical term used back then) some of the firefighters returned back to the scene after being treated. Total time out 11 hours and 31 minutes.

In 1971 the SFFD received a new a new pumper (expanding the fleet to 4 pumpers, and a brush fire truck) and a new flood light truck. By 1976 Engine CO 2 was formed at SFFD STATION 2 adding another new pumper (974) 1976 ended with 940 calls. This was the start of a block of some busiest years in the department’s history. 1977- 1010 calls. 1978-1069 calls.

SFFD in the 1970's

SFFD in the 1980's

1980 – 1990

1980 was another very busy year, one with a lot of fire tragedies. Some 17 working fires.

Some of those incidents included:

  • Ambulance fire (SF STA 2)
  • Chemical explosions (Liberty)
  • Car vs Gas Pumps (Gushing Gas)
  • Garbage truck vs Car (Fire and Explosion Burn Victims)
  • Two Drowning Victims (1 Fatal) Flooded Creek
  • Cesspool Cave In (2 Victims reported Trapped)
  • School Bus Accident (7 Injuries)
  • Small Plane Crash
  • Ambulance Accident

1980 was the busiest Year of Decade, 997 calls. The departments biggest fire ever occurred on January 20, 1982, Liberty lumber yard Fire. Some 14 Fire Departments 600 Firefighters; A 50 hour firefight.

The department celebrated it’s 25th anniversary on January 1, 1986. As the 1980s decade came to a close, it was marked with a sharp decrease in the number of calls yearly, averaging just over 600 calls.

SFFD in the 1980's

SFFD in the 1990's

1990 – 2000

1990 became one of the slowest call years since the mid-1960s with only 557 calls. The busiest month totaling 59 calls. Slowest month totaling 35 calls.

The SFFD celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1991. By 1992, call totals had increased to 723 calls with much busier years to come. In 1994, on September 11th, under the direction of Chief Frederick J. Heffel, the SFFD handled a blimp crash with 3 minor injuries. Also that year, the SFFD handled 13 working fires as call totals for the year increased to 761 runs.

In 1995, the department had one of the biggest increases in call volumes from the previous year (a 200 call increase, from 761 in 199 to 961 in 1995) The busiest part of 1995 was in the summer with a tornado on July 23rd. The department handled more than 40 to calls. There were 116 calls in July. The department responded to assist Suffolk Wild Fires in August. In September there was a school bus accident with more than 45 plus injuries on Motor Avenue. 1995 totaled 10 working fires.

SFFD in the 1990's

SFFD in the 2000's

2000 – 2010

The year 2000, the SFFD reached 1000 call for the first time in 22 years (1978.) The department celebrated 40 years in 2001. In December 2001 (just short of 20 years since The Liberty Lumber Yard fire in January 1982) the dept. had another major fire at the Liberty complex taking many hours to fight with multiple mutual aid fire depts. A new era for the SFFD as the old one story firehouse was demolished in May 2006, making way for a new two-story expanded firehouse that opened for operations in March 2007.

2007 was the first year of a block of 13 years through 2019 to reach and exceed 1000 calls as the first decade of the millennium ended.

In 2000 and 2001, the Chief of the Department was Donald Mormino. In 2008, his brother Steven Mormino was elected Chief of the Department. The first time both brothers were elected chief of the Department.

SFFD in the 2000's

SFFD in the 2010's

2010 – 2020

The SFFD celebrated 50 years of dedicated service in 2011. In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc. The department handled over 40 calls. One of the busiest days ever in SFFD history as well as the busiest work week (97 calls). October and November 2012 were two of the busiest months ever in SFFD history (156 calls each.) The year ended with 1249 calls, starting the busiest block of calls in the department’s history for the remainder of the 2010 decade.

Chief Edward Purpora served as the Chief of the Department from 2011 through 2013. In 2016 he was elected Chief of the Department once again. He was the first Ex Chief to become Chief of the Department after his first term.

Chief Mackie served as Chief of the Department from 2017 through 2019. 2019 became the busiest year in the Department’s history with 1320 call.

SFFD in the 2010's

SFFD in the 2020's

2020 – Present

Ex-Chief Richard Klein served as the fourth chief of the Department in 1965. Now 55 years later his son Chief Klein is serving as the Thirty Second Chief of the Department. This is the first father and son Chiefs of the Department.
SFFD in the 2020's