History of Company #2
In 1904, Company Two began serving the community as Section No. 2 of the Hill and Valley Fire Department. The equipment consisted of a hose reel and the coats, helmets and boots worn by the members. The fire house was a barn on Valley Rd. (Community Dr.) owned by Henry Schneider, the local blacksmith. When there was a fire, a large metal ring in front of Henry’s shop would be struck with a hammer to alert members to respond. By hand or horse, they would pull the hose reel and a hand pumper to the scene. In 1912, Hill and Valley gave way to the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department.
The first apparatus was an old Ford which was replaced in 1925 by an Acme Chassis mounted with a Foamite Generator. Over the years, as rigs were replaced, so were the firehouses. Co. 2 had various other quarters. After Valley Road, they moved to North Hempstead Tpke (1925) and then to Northern Blvd and Community Drive (1928). In 1972 Co. 2 moved into their present quarters on Community Dr. East on land donated by John Hay Whitney (an Honorary Chief).
Shortly after the opening of the new house, Co. 2 took delivery of a 125’ Ladder Truck made by Calavar, known as Truck 27. It was the first of its kind and the tallest in the state. In 1980 a new Tiller Ladder was purchased to replace the old Seagrave. It was a Kenworth Tractor with a 100’ L.T.I. Ladder. The current fleet consists of a 1992 Pierce 1500 GPM Top Mount Pumper (8725), a 1999 L.T.I. 93’ Tower Ladder (8724) and a 2003 Crimson 75’ Quint with a 1500 GPM pump (8728).
While the history of Company 2 is important, the most valued and storied aspect is, and always will be, the membership. Like all fire companies, we pass the torch to the next generation, but at Co. 2, we have been handing it from father to son, from uncle to nephew. Three generations of the Paradise family have produced three Chiefs, four Captains and a President, totaling more than 135 years of firefighting. There have been three generations of the Kushay family, including two 50-year members. Rich Kushay and Joe Bacik are our current 50+year members. There are many more family names that have been on the roster for most of the last century, such as: Chicosky, Kovalesky, Dutton, Bukovinsky, Wilhouski and Vasek. Not only have all had multiple members at Co. 2, but many of the wives and daughters were in the Ladies Auxiliary.
Perhaps our greatest point of pride is our senior member, who answered his last alarm in 2009. Joseph Koncick had an incredible 70-years of service and was still active right to the end at age 92. Until 2006, Joe still insisted on carrying the flag in the Memorial Day Parade. He was sharp as a tack right to the end; his recollections helped write the Centennial Journal for the Hill and Valley Fire Department in 2004.
The family legacies and countless other dedicated firefighters have unselfishly volunteered their time and energy for the last century, serving Manhasset-Lakeville one generation at a time. When that horn blows, we answer the call to help our neighbors and friends. This is what makes the Fire Department such an integral part of the fabric of the community.