East Meadow

Ex Assistant Chief - Engine Company #4

Robert E. Reed

Bob Reed joined Engine Company 4 of the East Meadow Fire Department on December 17, 1951. He resided at 46 Palm Lane Westbury, and was a charter member of Company 4.

In 1956, Bob was elected Warden, and in December he filled the position of 1st Lieutenant which he held until being elected Captain in 1958.

Then in 1976, Engine Company # 4 had a vacancy in office. The Chief’s Office, along with the recommendations of Captain Fran Messina, appointed Bob to the position of 1st Lieutenant.

In 1977 Bob Reed would be elected Captain of Engine 4 for the second time in his career.

Bob had a very interesting and exciting term serving under Chief William E Henderson. When Bob was nearly the end of his term, he considered a run for 3rd Asst Chief after being encouraged by his fellow members.

In 1978, Bob was elected 3rd Asst Chief. In the year that followed, Bob was elected 2nd Asst Chief, and his rise in office continue as he was elected 1st Asst Chief in 1980.

But Bob would not have the honor of being sworn in as Chief of the Department because on January 26, 1981, Bob would suffer a massive heart attack after serving all night assisting the Uniondale Fire Department at a major mutual aid fire.

The next morning, while traveling with his wife Audrey, in his Chief’s car, Bob was strickened.
Audrey spoke on the fire radio, stating their location on the Northern State Parkway, and the Plainview Fire Department ambulance responded and rushed him to the Central General Hospital. Despite all efforts to save him, Bob did not survive the attack. As well as his wife Audrey, Bob was survived by his children Brian, Robin, and Donna.

Although Bob left us with much of his knowledge and leadership as an Assistant Chief, members could only wonder what the Bob’s dedication and work ethic could have contributed further to our organization had he lived to become Chief of Department.

A memorial tribute has Bob’s gear encased in a memorial cabinet at Fire Station # 4.

Fittingly Gasser Avenue, alongside Fire Station # 4, was renamed Bob Reed Lane to commemorate the achievement of 1st Asst Chief Robert Reed, and the lasting effect he had on our organization.

His Badge # 405 has been retired in his memory.

Other Members Making the Supreme Sacrifice

Walter A. Ernst

Walter Ernst joined Engine Company # 4 on May 15, 1972. He resided at 11 Lion Lane in Westbury, and immediately became a “fireman’s fireman”.

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