In case of fire, don’t worry. Even though all 200 or so volunteer firefighters in Mamaroneck Village and around 40 auxiliaries and past dignitaries were at the Beach Point Club attending the annual fire inspection, they were still on the job, as usual.
“We all have our beepers, so if there’s ever a good time for a fire to break out, this would be it, since we’re all in one place,” said Chief Chris Szymanowski.
Though the municipality’s governing body is required by law to review the department, the inspection is largely a formality, said Robert Peccia, assistant chief. Originally, the mayor and trustees visited each firehouse. Now, they review the equipment and personnel as they lined up in uniform along Mamaroneck Avenue from Palmer to Prospect Avenues.
At the dinner, the department also handed out citations for exemplary service along with certificates to honor lengthy tenures. The longest-serving honorees included past chief Walter Webber, a 70 year veteran, and Ruth Kapp of the Ladies Auxiliary, who served for half a century.
The Ladies Auxiliary now conducts several charity functions, but in the past, they used to show up at fire scenes to serve soup, pour coffee, comfort the victims and aid the firefighters, a function largely taken over by the Red Cross, said auxiliary member Myrtle Quinn.
Veterans who served for forty years include Ronald Kapp, Michael Mitchell, Victor Malinowski, Ronald Capasso and William Aitchison. Thirty year members include Thomas Lupero, Michael Comblo, Richard Germani, Kevin Dellner, Michael Yannuzzi, Michael Pasqua and James Degina.
The department bestowed citations to firefighters who responded to a fire on Mamaroneck Avenue in July and the rescuers of a comrade, who went into cardiac arrest after a tree fell on him as the department responded to a carbon monoxide call during Tropical Storm Irene, said Szymanowski.
Keeping with tradition, top brass from other Sound Shore departments attended and in upcoming days, Szymanowski and his co-chiefs will also be attending inspection ceremonies at other municipalities where the department provides mutual aid during emergencies when necessary.
“Early fall is always a busy time of year,” he said.
This is the tenth year that the Annual Inspection Dinner has been held at the club. “After 9/11, we wanted to do something nice for the department,” said Randy Ruder, general manager of the Beach Point Club, who lets the department hold their functions at cost.
“They do so much for the community and we’ve gotten to know a lot of the guys through the years,” he said. “They’re the Public Works employees, the postman, the guys who work in the marinas, and the locksmith. They’re so giving, so we wanted to do something for them.”