Letter from the Melville Fire Department Chiefs

Filed under: Commack,Dix Hills,Fire,Hamlets,Heart of the Community,News,Police/Fire/EMS |

A letter from Chief of Department Jason Bernfeld and Assistant Chiefs Chris Nolan, David Kaplan and Bill Schmitt to the entire membership of the Melville Volunteer Fire Department, published with permission…


To All Members,

I am writing this to the Department as a whole unit, a team that came together and proved the professionalism of this great organization and the willingness of each and every individual member to pull together and contribute whatever they could, and it showed!, so Thank You. Starting July 21, 2017 and leading through July 26, 2017, in just five days the Melville Fire Department responded to 50 alarms, of which were two confirmed propane leaks, a mutual aid request for a structure fire, a mutual aid request for a junkyard fire, a car accident with entrapment and today tragically a terrible call for two 3-year-old children that were victims of a drowning and found to be in cardiac arrest. The responders to this incident could not have done a better job and acted with such high dignity it is hard to find the right words to praise them.

In addition to these calls we also attended the Huntington Manor Parade and Fireman’s Fair, we provided two separate five hour fire standbys to Huntington Manor. We hosted the Food Network who filmed a pilot episode on site at headquarters and a Department picnic off site, and I would be remiss if I didn’t specifically acknowledge the kitchen committee for this. Sadly we also lost an iconic member of this Department, a 58-year active member, an Ex-Chief, a former commissioner, a progressive thinker that helped introduce us to the Hurst tools that we carry without thought today, Members showed true solidarity in the loss of Ex-Chief Harrison, he will be truly missed.

On behalf of the Chiefs Office, I thank every member for what they did over these past five days to pull us through. Aside from September 11th, I personally cannot think of another short period of time that has been so demanding and trying on our department.



Chief Jason Bernfeld
First Assistant Chief Chris Nolan
Second Assistant Chief David Kaplan
Third Assistant Chief Bill Schmitt


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