HOOK LADDER & ENGINE COMPANY #3
On August 11, 1970 Chief Ernest Banke issued a memo stating that effective September 14, 1970, a new company would be formed. It was to be called Hook, Ladder and Engine Company Three and he invited all interested members to apply for a transfer. It was assigned the existing ladder truck and also a brand new 1970 Mac 1250-gpm pumper. The first official meeting of Hook, Ladder and Engine Company Three was held on October 22, 1970, with the main order of business being the election of new officers. That night Andrew Dinkle was elected as the first Captain of the company. Andrew was also the existing Captain of the squad. Alan Russell was elected 1st Lieutenant; Joseph Romano was elected as 2nd Lieutenant and Alan Banks as Secretary Treasurer.
In the early 1970s the company trained hard both in the operation of the aerial truck and the pumper. Those members who were still skeptical of the abilities and uses of an aerial truck were soon convinced. At a difficult fire on Berry Street, hand lines were having trouble advancing because a large volume of fire had already burned through the roof. The aerial ladder was set up and the ladder pipe was used to knock down the fire. The ladder was able to knock it down quickly thus making all realize the apparatus’s capabilities. The members of N.L.F.D. we’re not the only ones who realized. The Suffolk County Police Department requested the ladder when a burglary was in progress and they needed access to the roof of the building.
As the ’70s ended, the department needed to replace two of its ageing pumpers. A committee consisting of members from Company Three and Company One was formed to obtain two new rigs. In December of 1980 the department took delivery of two Kenworth 1,500-gallon per minute pumpers that were designated 1-11-1 and 1-11-3. These two pumpers served the department faithfully for 20 years. Soon there after, it came time to replace the old aerial ladder. The N.L.F.D. ordered a Mack Aerialscope 75-foot tower ladder. This tower ladder has served the department for 25 years.
Company Three and 1-11-4 are often called by neighing departments for mutual aid. For mutual aid calls, 1-11-4 has been utilized in many ways. At large scale incidents where there is a large volume of fire and a defensive attack to be implemented, 1-11-4 is versatile in delivering large volumes of water to elevated locations. The most important type of mutual aid is when 1-11-4 is called to serve as a rapid intervention team. In that capacity, the manpower reports to the incident command post fully geared and ready to go to work only in the event of a fire fighter in distress. In one such mutual aid, several members of a neighboring department became lost in a large warehouse. A mayday transmission was given and the crew of 1-11-4 quickly used the heavy duty “partner saw” to cut a hole in a large roll down gate. The three lost members were located and removed to safety with no more than minor injuries.
1-11-4 has served the department, the Town of Babylon, both Suffolk and Nassau counties, and the City of New York. On September 11, 2001 our department was called for mutual aid after the attacks on the World Trade Center. 1-11-4 and its crew responded to Brooklyn to stand by in a NYC firehouse while the members of the Brooklyn company were operating at the Trade Center site. After 9/11, the tower ladder was utilized in countless line of duty funerals for our fallen brothers of the New York 23 City Fire Department. Unfortunately, 1-11-4 is getting old and will soon need to be replaced. Many members of not only Company Three, but of the department, are very fond of 1-11-4 and sad to see it go.
Company Three’s history would not be complete without remembering those members who are no longer with us – especially our members who passed too young and while still serving their communities. Ex-Captain Andrew Dinkle, Ex-Captain Erik Hendrickson and F.F. Leon Gumowski, III, were irreplaceable assets to the department and our company and they will always be in our hearts and prayers.
Company Three is proud to be a part of the North Lindenhurst Fire Department. Many members of our company have been decorated for both fire and rescue calls and we look forward to serving our department into the future.