The North Lindenhurst Volunteer Emergency Services Company 5 was established in 1957 as a police Squad with the following named personnel in the squad: Joe Tortorelli, Howie Barbolet, and Bill Carl. Joe Tortorelli was the first Captain of Fire Police Squad. The first Fire Police squad truck was an old American LaFrance pumper, which was later converted over to their official truck. The duties of the Fire Police at the time were to direct traffic and handle crowd control.

In April of 1966, the following were the Officers of the Fire Police: Captain Howie Barbolet and Mike Fries as Secretary Treasurer. October of 1966, Captain Howie Barbolet resigned as officer in charge. On October 24, 1966, Mike Fries was elected as Captain of the Fire Police Squad. In 1968, the new Fire Police truck was purchased and in later years, the top was added to it.

September 25, 1972, the Fire Police Squad became Company “5.” November 22, 1972, the color “Kelly Green” was adopted as Company 5′s official color. Mike Fries asked that the company come up with a name for the company. They became known as the “Gophers.”

November 26, 1973, Company 5 stayed all night at Great Eastern Department store. This was the time the store was being held up and one of the bandits was shot. April 22, 1974, Company 5 owned a new Hurst Tool and started training the men on the operation of the tool. December 5, 1976, the Officers elected were Captain Pat Brittelli, 1st Lieutenant D. Batho, 2nd Lieutenant Ray Paust and Secretary Treasurer Tom Romano. It was then that Mike Fries had been Captain of Company 5 for 10 years. He had watched the Company grow from a “Fire Police Squad” to the “Emergency Company 5 Gophers.”


1630 Straight Path
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
Tel. (631) 226-5809


Stephen Alexinas – Captain
Charles Verdolino – 1st Lieutenant
George Leavey – 2nd Lieutenant