2015 Installation and Testimonial Dinner
Story by Ex-Captain Steve Grogan - Photos by Richard Law
On May 29, 2015, the Lynbrook Fire Department held their Annual Installation and Testimonial Dinner honoring Ex-Chief Michael Anderson of Truck Company who was Chief Engineer of the Department in 2014-2015. The Master of Ceremonies for the dinner was Brian Brown. Lynbrook Mayor William Hendrick swore in Chief James McDermott and his Assistant Chiefs, John Chavatte, Carl Lengel, and William Abrams. Chief McDermott then swore in the officers of the department as well as the Junior officers and Ladies Auxiliary officers. During the dinner a number of members were recognized for their service. Ex-Chief Ernest Riefler, of Truck Company, who resides in Florida and could not attend the dinner, was honored for 75 years of service. He is the first department member to achieve a legacy of being a member for that long. Also honored was Ex-Chief and now Honorary Commissioner John M. Crowley of Truck Company for 50 years of service. Honorary Chief Al Amalfitano, of Vulcan Company was also honored for the same amount of years. Also recognized was Honorary Chief Robert Rechhart, also of Vulcan Company, who was unable to attend last year's dinner in his honor. There was also four members of the department recognized for 25 years of service. They are Ex-Captain Cathy Aresta, Ex-Captain David Linzer, Firefighter Mike Kostyra, and Ex-Chief Keith Festa.
Another highlight of the evening was honoring former US Marine Marcus Dandrea who was made an Honorary Lynbrook Firefighter. Dandrea was severely wounded in February 2011 when he stepped on an IED while patrolling a hilltop in Afghanistan. He lost both his legs. The LFD met Marcus when he came up to Lynbrook from his rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Hospital in Bethesda, MD, to enjoy our Concert for Wounded Warrior held each year in September for the past four years at Truck Company's firehouse. Each year in December department members bring Christmas presents to Marcus and his wife and three children at Bethesda.
Also remembered and honored at the dinner was Ex-Chief Frank Morris of Truck Company who was named Firefighter of the Year for 2015. Frank was Chief of Department from 1994 to 1995. Ex-Chief Morris past away in February. His daughters accepted the award.
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