Engine Company #1
As 1955 drew to a close, Chief Dominic Santoro saw the need for a fourth engine company in the district. To staff the new company, 9 men transferred from other companies, led by our first captain, Anthony Butera. On May 21, 1956, 13 new applicants were sworn in and Engine Co. 1 was born.
Our first apparatus was the 1937 Buffalo 500 GPM pumper, which had seen action with several companies previously. The company was housed in headquarters, on East Meadow Avenue, south of the library. By the end of 1956 our roster increased to 28 men, which was important, as the Buffalo occasionally required a push start out of the bay, in order to respond.
The crew from the early days often spoke of a plane crashing into a house on Prospect Avenue, and even trained for those events at the old Mitchel Field Air Force Base.
In December 1959 the new Engine One arrived, an Approved 1250 GPM pumper. Although we now had an enclosed cab, the crew rode the open back step, as per the custom of the day. The pump never failed, even when the heat from the engine ignited the jump seats at the 1977 Mitchel College fire.
Our next pumper was a 1978 Mack, capable of 1500 GPM, and was brightly colored lime green. Although the Mack was very reliable, the members were happy to return to the traditional red of the 1996 Pierce pumper, which is still active, currently on loan to a neighboring department in need.
The latest version of Engine 1 is a 2018 Pierce, rated to supply 2000 GPM, with 4 discharges capable of supplying on board foam. Safety rules prohibit riding the back step, so members are enclosed in an 8 man crew cab. In 2002 the company moved to a new one story firehouse a bit south on East Meadow Avenue.
The company has often implemented innovations to improve operations, such as a separate skid load bed, and was the first engine to utilize 5” hose. Nine of our members have gone beyond company office to become Chief of Department, and two company members are currently Fire Commissioners.
Engine Co. 1 typically responds to more than 300 alarms per year, from automatic alarms and car accidents, to residential and commercial building fires.