The History of Truck Co. No. 1
The area of the Town of Hempstead,
now known as Lynbrook, was first settled several hundred years ago.
Although occupied mostly by farmers, the area gradually grew in
population until a
group of concerned residents decided that the population warranted a formal, organized
fire protection unit.
On November 25, 1879, fifteen
residents of the Village of Pearsall's, then in Queens County, gathered
at Furman's Hall and organized Rescue Hook, Ladder and Bucket Company
No. 1. The immediate order of business was to appoint a committee to
look into the purchase of a piece of fire apparatus.
The committee appointed to purchase
the apparatus selected a hand drawn hook and ladder truck. This
apparatus consisted of two fifth wheels, so that is could be turned at
either end. It cost the tidy sum of $135.00.
Company and their first hand drawn hook and ladder wagon>
and various social functions were held to raise funds for the equipment
necessary to finance the fire equipment.
August of 1882, the company approved the purchase of land at what now is
189 Earle Avenue for $150.00. This land was deeded to the company in
September of 1882. The firehouse at 189 Earle Avenue was the very
same structure erected in 1884, was over 121 years old when it
destroyed by fire. It was one of the oldest firehouses housing an active fire
these early years, the sounding of fire alarms was recognized as a
necessity. For a while the bell atop St. James Church was used. In July of 1888, Mr. I.P. Simpson donated a bell that was
installed in the belfry of the firehouse. This bell was used for many
years as the fire alarm for the area, and can still be seen at the
Fireman's Memorial at Earle Ave. and Sunrise Hwy.
1894, the Village of Pearsall's changed its name to Lynbrook. the year
1898 saw the three eastern townships of Queens County form a new county,
Nassau. And, the year 1900 not only ushered in a new century, but saw
the formation of the second fire fighting company in Lynbrook, Engine
Company No. 1.
was soon realized that a unified command was needed because of a lack of
coordinating effort amongst the two units and in 1901 the Lynbrook Fire
Department was organized.
November 13th, 1917, the Village of Lynbrook turned back to the company
the old hand drawn truck, and officially placed in the company's charge
and care, the first motorized fire truck in Lynbrook. It was a Reo Motor
Truck, and cost approximately $6000.00. The Reo served the village until
This photo was taken on November 6, 1917. Norman Cowper was Captain,
Kenneth Frost was Lieutenant and driver.
This photo was taken on November 6, 1917. Norman Cowper was Captain,Kenneth Frost was Lieutenant and driver.
The bell seen in the tower above is now located at the
Firefighter's Memorial on Sunrise Hwy. and Earle Ave.
Mack Ladder Truck
advent of World War II saw many members of the company entering the Armed
Forces. Two member of Truck Company did not return. The Lynbrook Fire
Department Memorial at Sunrise Hwy. and Earle Ave honors these two fireman,
Dester Stephenson and Wilmer Sinley, along with John Johnston and
John Donlon of Hose Company, who also gave the supreme sacrifice.
Lynbrook had grown considerably and the prospect of future growth, the
village purchased a 1947 Seagrave 85' Tractor Tiller fire truck.
The truck cost the village $18,200.
Seagrave 85' Tractor Tiller
1962 Mack Tractor Tiller 100' Arial Ladder Truck.
1972 Ford/Reading Utility Vehicle
village continued to grow and prosper and in 1962 the village purchased
a 1962 Mack Tractor Tiller Fire Truck. The truck cost $60,000. The 1947
Seagrave was sold to the Windsor, Ontario, Canada fire department where
is continued to serve well for many years. The '47 Seagrave was
re-acquired by company members after it's retirement and is now an
antique parade truck. Visit the Antique Apparatus
page for more recent photos.
1976 Lynbrook Fire Department Home
Mack in photo taken in 1979 for the 100th Anniversary
JOHN CRIBBIN PHOTO
1979 Rescue Hook, Ladder & Bucket Company No. 1 celebrated 100 years
of service to the Village of Lynbrook.
1980, the village purchased a 1980 Pierce/LTI 85 foot tower ladder truck
to replace the aging Mack. The truck served the village until 1998. The
1962 Mack was sold to the Albuquerque, New Mexico Fire Department.
Pierce Ladder truck with an Oren body and LTI 85' Tower Ladder
PHOTO BY NANCY BIEN
Seagrave 100 ft. Arial ladder- 428
DAN GILMARTIN PHOTO
the village continued its expansion upwards, the need for a second
ladder truck was determined. The village purchased a 1990 Seagrave
Ladder truck to augment the 1980 Pierce. The old firehouse
underwent major renovations to accommodate the new ladder truck.
In 1998 Truck
Co. acquired a 1998 Spartan/L.T.I. 93 ft. Tower
Ladder, to replace the 18 year old Pierce Fire Truck.
Spartan/LTI 93 ft. Tower Ladder - 427
DAN GILMARTIN PHOTO
In 2002, Truck Company acquired a 2002
Spartan featuring a Mobile Air Recovery System on board for refilling
Scott Air Packs to replace the 1972 Ford/Reading Utility Vehicle.
Old Truck Co. Quarters
with 1990 Seagrave &1998 Spartan Tower Ladder.
In 2004, Truck Company passed another
milestone as they celebrated 125 years of continuous service to the
residents of the Village of Lynbrook. Visit the 125th Anniversary Page
by clicking here.
April 22nd, 2005 at about 5:40 AM the firefighters of Rescue Hook,
Ladder & Bucket Co. No. 1 were summoned, along with their fellow
Lynbrook firefighters, to a working fire at their own historic
Then Truck Company Captain Mike Gilmartin was at work for the Dept. of
Public Works when, while approaching Earle Ave. on Merrick Rd., he saw
smoke and flames from the vicinity of the firehouse. As Mike got closer
he discovered to his horror it was his firehouse that was burning.
Mike was able to call in the call to his dispatcher and remove the
apparatus from building unscathed.
To the amazement of Truck Company's
firefighters the old house opened the bay door near the
fire, protecting the tower ladder from the fire just above the rig. The
Traffic light pre-empters at
the intersections of Merrick and Sunrise were activated and flashing.
Over a hundred and twenty years of fire fighting experience had taught the old
building a thing or two. The fire was quickly extinguished by Lynbrook's
The structural damage, however, was
substantial. From an engineering perspective the fire couldn't
have been in a worse location. Unfortunately most of the old building
has to be raised as it could not be economically rebuilt to meet current building codes. Demolition day was a sad
day for our beloved fire house that so faithfully served Pearsall's
Corners and later Lynbrook for the past 121 years.
Construction on a new building began in
October of 2006. The building took over a year to complete. Fire insurance only covered about half the cost of
rebuilding and the company raised funds through donations and a large
Truck Company's apparatus were relocated
to various locations in the village until the new facility can be
completed. You may view the Lynbrook F.D. official news story about the
fire by clicking here.
After one year of construction Truck Co.
have moved back to their home at 189 Earle Ave.
The officers and fire fighters of Rescue
Hook, Ladder & Bucket Company No. 1 continue to serve the
Village of Lynbrook, as they have done for the past 133 years, as a fire company with a long
and proud tradition of excellence.