MONTAUK FIRE DEPARTMENT CORNER…
Photos by Richard Lewin Professional Photography (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Welcome to this month’s edition of the Montauk Fire Department Corner. I hope everyone has been able to get away at least for a little while this winter, and will return safely to get ready for the spring season. I’m very excited about this month’s issue. This month’s MFD Corner features the premiere of “MFD Spotlight”. Along with the monthly news and events of the MFD, we are going to profile Members of the Montauk Fire Department who have shown outstanding volunteerism to our Montauk Community. They remind us that the Members of the MFD are your friends, family and neighbors.
I am pleased to announce that this month I will be spotlighting three firemen who collectively have 173 years of experience of volunteer fire service. I’m sure you will recognize all three of them, and I hope you will enjoy their respective profiles.
Ronald “Ronnie” Paon began volunteering for the MFD even before he was old enough to legally join. Ronnie’s roots with the Montauk Fire Department go back to 1953. He is still active and has 65 years of uninterrupted volunteer service to the Montauk Fire Department. He started out as a member of Engine Company 1 and is now serving as fire policeman in Fire Police Company 6. Ronnie has also served on many committees over the years, and has served as Treasurer of Company 1 for 40 years. He has received several commendations from the Department including being named Fireman of the Year. When asked what his most memorable fire was he did not hesitate to say that it was when his own business, Ronnie’s Deli, burned and sustained heavy damage in 1978.
Harold “Herb” Herbert, founder and owner of Herb’s Market for 38 years, has been an active member of the Montauk Fire Department since 1965 (53 years) but, prior to joining the MFD, he had been a member of the North Sea Fire Department starting in 1960. This gives Herb 58 continuous years of service in the volunteer fire service. Herb started out at the MFD in Engine Company 2 and the Ambulance Squad, and is now a Fire Policeman in Company 6. Herb has received many commendations from the Department over the years, and a Veteran’s Bar for his service in the United States Army. He was named MFD Fireman of the Year in 2000. Herb is still very active with collateral duties in the Department. He is the Chairman of the Scholarship Fund, President of the Department’s Benevolent Association, and Lieutenant of Company 6. His most memorable fire was the Montauk Marine Basin fire in 1973. When asked if there was anything else he would like to add to his profile he said, “I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the North Sea and Montauk Fire Departments, and I’m hoping that they will have to put up with me for a lot longer.”
Charles “Charlie” Morici has been an active member of the Montauk Fire Department since 1965, giving him 53 years of continuous service to our volunteer fire service. Charlie started out in Engine Company 2 and the Ambulance Squad and is now a Fire Policeman in Company 6. Besides the fire service, Charlie also served our community during his career as a Lieutenant in the East Hampton Police Department from which he retired in the mid 1980’s. Charlie has received many commendations from the Montauk Fire Department over the years, and has served on several committees. He received a Veteran’s Bar for his 9 years of service to our country in the United States Air Force. He was named MFD Fireman of the Year in 1976, and has been named Driver of the Year for the Ambulance Squad many times, most recently in 2017, where special mention was given to Charlie for participating in nearly half of the over 700 calls for Emergency Medical Service. Charlie’s most memorable fire was the famous Hither Woods fire of 1986.
I can’t tell you how proud and honored I am to be able to work with people of this caliber in the Montauk Fire Department. It is remarkable to me, as I am sure it is to you, that these 3 men with over 173 years of combined service to our community are still active, and giving of themselves to volunteer for our community. I look forward to working with them and the rest of the MFD into the future.
Finally, I would like to report that the Officers and Members of the Montauk Fire Department’s Engine Company 2 had mixed feelings of nostalgia and pride about January’s retirement of the International Rescue Truck which has served the community so well since 1992. As part of this ceremony the department unveiled the new, recently purchased “Rescue 2” Truck, nicknamed “Bright Eyes”, after MFD’s original rescue vehicle. Please enjoy the photos of this memorable occasion, provided by Honorary Chief Rich Lewin.
This concludes this month’s edition of the Montauk Fire Department’s Corner. Hope to see everyone out for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade later this month. Stay Safe.
~ Vincent Franzone, Chief,
Montauk Fire Department