East Meadow

Philip Fertitta Accepts Highest Chief Honors

Yet another election year for the officers and members of the East Meadow Fire Department has passed as Chiefs and Company officers continue their plans on what they will accomplish to make their mark in the history of our organization.

In a fitting tribute to the past and future of the East Meadow Fire Department, officers and members, alike gathered for the annual “Swearing In” ceremonies held this day at 1pm.

On this date, the department would say thank you to Chief of Department Peter Stanley Cheswick, and welcome new Chief Philip Fertitta to the highest of department ranks.

The ceremony, eloquently led by Commissioner John J. Priest, Chairman of the Board, is a tradition within the organization for as long as those can remember.

Commissioner Priest was assisted by Fire Commissioner and Vice Chairman William J. Neill who swore in 2nd Asst Chief Michael Wood, Commissioner Keith J. Hoffman who swore in 1st Asst Chief James Walsh, and Commissioner James Surless who swore in Chief of Department Philip Fertitta.
In a proud and emotional moment, Ex Chief Eric W. Becker was awarded the honors of swearing in his son 3rd Asst Chief Kurt Becker.

Immediately following the Assistant Chiefs, newly elected Chief of Department Philip Fertitta approached the podium. With right hand raised, Chief Fertitta, re-cite the oath of Office as our 71st Chief in our 93 year history.

This moment in time represented a new beginning of outstanding community service given each year by the Department.

With Chief Fertitta now officially our new leader, the time came for him to administer the Oath of Office to the core of East Meadow’s bravest. One by one Company Lieutenants and staff officers were called to line up where the entire group was to be sworn in.

The next group called upon were the Captains of all seven companies as well as the Squad Captains of the 55 (Safety Officers) and 99 (Advanced Life Support) squads.

The Chief also offered the Oath of Office to his administrative staff, Ladies Auxiliary, and the Junior Fire Company.

Milestone abound, this year our ceremony resulted in the rare event that a Chief (Chief Fertitta) moved up the ranks to Chief for a 2nd time.
It would also show a 3rd generation East Meadow volunteer Kurt W. Becker get sworn in as 3rd Asst Chief by his dad, 3 time Ex Chief Eric W. Becker. Kurt’s grandfather, the late Ex Captain George Becker, would be proud for certain.

There would also be a first in this richest of EMFD traditions, where an entire family of five (The Mongellos) would be sworn in to different offices. Michael J. Mongello Sr (father) as the Engine 1 Treasurer, Susanne Mongello (Mother) as the 1st Lieutenant of Rescue Co 5, Michael Mongello Jr (Son) as the Captain of Engine Co 1, Samantha Mongello (Daughter) as the 2nd Lieutenant of Rescue Co 5, and Christopher Mongello (Son) as the Sergeant at Arms of Engine Co 1. A family boasting more than 90 years of service to the residents of the East Meadow Fire District, and still going strong.

Please join us as we congratulate our 2023-2024 Officers of the East Meadow Fire Department. All the very best for a safe and successful year.


Philip Fertitta Chief of Departement

James Walsh 1ST Asst Chief

Michael J. Wood 2nd Asst Chief

Kurt W. Becker 3rd Asst Chief

Frank Ciaccio Rec Secretary

Keith J. Hoffman Corr Secretary

James J. Kanes Treasurer

David A. Paganini IV Sgt at Arms


Michael Mongello Jr Captain

John A. Priest 1st Lieutenant

Omar M. Hamza 2nd Lieutenant

John R. Malik Recording Secretary

Vincent Nocella Corresponding Secretary

Michael J. Mongello Sr. Treasurer

Christopher Mongello Sergeant at Arms


Steve Narine Captain

Matthew Schneckenburger 1st Lieutenant

Michael Moniellio 2nd Lieutenant

Howard Bartone Recording Secretary

Marc A Aracena Corresponding Secretary

Michael Baumann Treasurer

Dave A. Paganini IV Sergeant at Arms


Frank A. Pollicino Captain

James Aspenleiter Jr. 1st Lieutenant

Robert M. Schmidt 2nd Lieutenant

Rocky Ritter Recording Secretary

Daniel J. Wood Corresponding Secretary

Jeffrey A. Rosenthal Treasurer

Craig Euler Sergeant at Arms


Timothy Raichel Captain

Brian Messina 1st Lieutenant

Robert Morris 2nd Lieutenant

Neil Rohde Recording Secretary

Francisco Martinez Corresponding Secretary

Richard Cardozo Sr Treasurer


Ryan R. Lucchi Captain

Joseph E. Mullady III 1st Lieutenant

Joseph L. Krilov 2nd Lieutenant

Richard Nunez Recording Secretary

Vince Wiscovitch Corresponding Secretary

James Callahan Treasurer


Joseph Bopp Captain

Vincent M. Finneran 1st Lieutenant

Gil Lugo 2nd Lieutenant

Joseph C. Packard Recording Secretary

Joseph Sicurella Corresponding Secretary

Terence Reilly Treasurer

Kacey E. Cheswick Sergeant at Arms


Shagufta Yucel Captain

Susanne Mongello 1st Lieutenant

Smantha Mongello 2nd Lieutenant

Mary Wolter Recording Secretary

David Gravely Corresponding Secretary

Patricia Magnus-Brown Treasurer


Keith J. Hoffman Captain


Christopher Mackay Captain

PHOTOS: Jay Zinger