(As formulated from
various writings and sources)
eighty years ago, Sound Beach was predominantly brush and woods with
framed summerhouses scattered throughout the area. The huge amount
of brush and trees that surrounded homes prompted some residents to join
together and form a fire department. Thus on July 4, 1930, at a
hotel in New York City, the Sound Beach Fire Department was
organized. The first Chief of Department, William Harrison, conducted
original meetings in members’ homes. Winter meetings were soon held
in various hotels in NYC and summer meetings in Sound Beach. As
administrative duties increased, a president, Angelo Ankener, was elected
to chair meetings.
The first piece of firefighting equipment
was a Ford Chemical Engine, purchased from the Elmont Fire Department. It
was housed in an open-air garage at the original Sound Beach Property
Owners Association Club House on Malba Drive. When the Community
House, in “The Square”, was completed it was housed there with the Highway
Department and the Sound Beach Police Department.
Various fund raising events were conducted
and finally the dream came true, a brand new truck was purchased.
However, funds were so short that that the truck was repossessed.
Firefighters dug into their pockets to retrieve the truck and make
payments, which prompted the Department to become incorporated in 1931.
As the community began to grow our 1939
Diamond “T” was purchased. It is a rotary gear pumper that the Sound
Beach Fire Department is still proud to own and show off at parades and
In 1934 the Ladies Auxiliary was formed
under the first president, Mary Ankener. The ladies have always been
steadfast supporters of the fire department. They contributed greatly over
the years in deeds and financial assistance, helping to buy equipment and
1939 DIAMOND T>
A new headquarters building was built on
Sound Beach Blvd and dedicated in 1944. The ever-present problem of
space resulted in at least 7 additions with last being the partial
demolition of the old building and construction of a new and modern two
story Fire Headquarters.
In the early days fire rings, manufactured from train rails, were
positioned through the town. A system of codes were used to
alert firefighters throughout the town as to the general location. A
resident spotting a fire would ring out the code for the area with a iron
maul; that code would be echoed by residents at all the rings in town.
The last known “Fire Ring” currently stands behind Fire Headquarters as a
memorial to our past firefighters. In Memorial Day services are held
at this site.
The fire ring gong system was replaced by a number of electric sirens
located at strategic locations in the town that sounded for over five
minutes to alert firefighters. Our fire alarm system has now
expanded and developed to a state of the art system that includes in house
radios and pagers, giving precise locations and details to all the
firefighters. The siren system was reduced to only two sirens that
only sound for a brief alert and only during the day. The siren
system is maintained to cover firefighters that might be away from their
radios and/or if radio communications are interrupted.
In 1956, the self-supporting fire
department realized that costs were fast becoming something that carnival
and bingo nights could not match. The residents of Sound Beach
petitioned the Brookhaven Town Board and the Sound Beach Fire District was
established. The district was then and is now governed by a five
member Board of Fire Commissioners.
In 1969 the Junior Fire Department was
formed. On June 7, 1979 the Suffolk County
Executive proclaimed Sound Beach Fire Department. In 1980 the Sound
Beach Fire Department celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a
Parade, Carnival and other community functions.
In 1989 the current building was started
and we moved in on Memorial Day, 1990, the year of our 60th
While the department started over 70 years
ago with one truck we are now proud of our fleet of 15 vehicles and one
boat that protects the residents of the Sound Beach. The fleet
consists of 5 pumpers, 1 rescue truck, 2 ambulances, 3 chiefs’ cars, 1
boat, 1 antique, and 4 other support vehicles. Nine of the vehicles
are four-wheel drive making us totally self-sufficient during periods of
snow emergencies. Our vehicles can be seen on our apparatus web
Thank you for visiting and reading about
our history. If you would like to learn more about us please send us
an email with the information you request. This page will be updated
as we conduct additional research.