OUR HISTORY

(As formulated from various writings and sources)

Over 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 antique shows.

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 property.

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 Anniversary.

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 pages.

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.  

 

PHOTO GALLERY

 

 
 
 

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