On Saturday June 3rd, members of the East Meadow Fire Department, local dignitaries, family and friends, celebrated the life of Ex Captain James Landrigan who died in the line of duty 46 years ago on September 28, 1977.
The ceremony, elegantly mastered by Firefighter Frank Ciaccio of Engine Company 2, opened with the East Meadow Fire Department Colorguard presenting our nations flags, soon followed by the singing of our National Anthem by East Meadow High School student Daniel David.
Town Clerk Kate Murray led us in the Salute to the Flag, followed by an opening prayer from our Department Chaplain Douglas Wood.
Immediately following, Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin offered words of gratitude for the sacrifices made on that tragic day as Jimmy, and his beloved Engine Company 2 brothers were training in fire hose evolutions as they did so many times before.
But the time had now come for all in attendance. 43 years later, the street sign at Park Avenue and East Meadow Ave became the site of a new street name as Carolyn Landrigan-Knauer, Jimmy’s wife at the time of his passing, surrounded by her loving family, pulled the cord to unveil the new sign appropriately named James Landrigan Lane. The sound of bagpipes playing all the while by Ex Chief Robert V. Hughes, also of Engine Company 2..
An emotional moment for the Landrigan family, as well as the members of Engine Company 2, and the East Meadow Fire Department, some of which were members at the time of Jimmy’s passing.
A sad day. A proud day. But day that will ensure the memory of Ex Captain James Landrigan will never fade in our community in the same way it hasn’t from the minds of our E.M.F. D. volunteer firefighters.
Also in attendance were members of the Smithtown Fire Department. A closeness between the men of East Meadow’s Engine 2 and the Smithtown FD has evolved over recent years where Jimmy Landrigan’s Nephew, Michael Landrigan is a past Chief.
Thanks Captain Landrigan..… You did your job and served us well. We are proud to remember you in this fond way.
The following is the story of Ex Captain Landrigan as displayed in our Fire Station and website.
Ex Captain James Landrigan
In the Line Of Duty
28 September 1977
James Landrigan joined Engine Company # 2 on October 16, 1961. It would not be long before Jimmy would become an asset to the department.
Jimmy quickly became a chauffeur, and in 1963 he was elected to the position of 2nd Lieutenant. His knowledge and leadership paved the way for his rise to 1st Lieutenant in 1964, and on to Captain in 1965.
In 1968, Jimmy’s continued commitment and dedication to our community led him to rise through the ranks again as 2nd Lieutenant in 1968, and on to Captain in 1970.
In 1976 Jimmy was awarded Life Membership for all his years of service.
Committed to his beloved Engine Company 2, Jimmy continued to attend trainings and alarms.
On Wednesday September 28, 1977, while out on a company training on Newbridge Road, Jimmy collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Assisted by Ladder Company 2 who were out on a training of their own, members of Engine Company 2 were able to revive Jimmy. Rescue 5 soon arrived, took over care, and transported him to the Nassau County Medical Center.
While at the hospital, Jimmy suffered a series of strokes and a massive heart attack. Hours later, at approximately 3:00am on September 29th, Ex Captain James H. Landrigan became Engine Company # 2’s first line of duty fatality.
Because of his dedication, Jimmy still finished the year in 5th place for most alarms answers, having not even lived the last 3 months of the year.
Jimmy was a printer by trade , but his many talents were evident around the firehouse as Jimmy was an important member of the Saturday work crew.
After his passing, the members felt so strongly about Jimmy’s service to Engine 2 that a plaque was made and erected in the firehouse.
At the same time his badge number was retired. No other Engine Company # 2 member shall ever wear badge 248 again. At the time of his death his wife Carolyn and two teenage daughters Patti and Donna, survived him.
Photos: Jay Zinger Story: John J. O’Brien Sr [email protected]