Hon. Chief Bill Myers Answers Last Alarm
Story & photos by Ex Captain Steven Grogan
Honorary Chief William Myers answered his last alarm on December 15, 2016 after a long illness. Bill joined Engine Company on July 3, 1963, only months after the fatal accident between Engine Company and Tally-Ho. Bill joined with three of his life-long friends, and as Chief John Chavatte described during department services at Perry's Funeral Home on December 20th, they brought "a new light to the company during a very dark time."
Bill was originally issued badge #111, but was drafted by the US Army before actually receiving the badge. Bill's brother Charlie joined Engine Company when Bill was overseas and the department secretary mistakenly issued Bill's badge to Charlie. When Bill returned from his military obligation, Charlie would not give up the number.
In 1966, Bill was elected company secretary. In 1968, he became the financial secretary and in 1971 was elected second lieutenant. He was first lieutenant in 1973 and then elected the 64th captain of Engine Company in April 1975. He served as captain for one year before his brother Charlie became captain.
Bill also served as the department secretary, as a warden, and was one of the first members of the Fire Police Unit. He was also a member of the Tumblers Tournament Team in the 70's. He was also instrumental in the reorganization of the team in 2007. Bill was also a member of the department By-Law Committee and served as it chairman. There wasn't a by-law that Bill did not know.
In 2013, after 50 years of dedicated service to Engine Company and the Lynbrook Fire Department, Bill was named an Honorary Chief.
"Billy's smile, sense of humor, and his wisdom will be sorely missed on Carpenter Avenue, although the legacy he leaves behind will continue to keep Engine Company and the Department moving forward, all of which to honor his 53 years of dedication to the Village of Lynbrook," said Chief Chavatte.
Bill's funeral Mass on December 21st was held at Our Lady of Peach Church where he and his wife Kathy were long-time parishoners. After the Mass of Christian Burial a military service was held in the front of the church. Taps were played for this Army veteran while the department saluted his service. The American flag on top of the casket was then folded by the two uniformed soldiers and presented to Bill's grandson.
The funeral procession then drove under an arch with a huge American flag flying between Truck Company's two rigs on Merrick Road at Neiman Avenue. A contingent of firefighters from Engine 2 in Valley Stream, parked on Merrick Road at Horton Avenue and saluted as the funeral procession passed. The procession also passed under a second American flag arch made by ladders from the Valley Stream and Malverne Fire Departments on Franklin Avenue.
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