There were thirty-one members of the original East Islip Hook and Ladder Company, organized on April 5, 1889. In the 1890's the population of East Islip was in the hundreds and these men were alerted by one bell. The first firehouse in 1890 cost less than $1000, and the first ladder truck in 1889 cost $450. Most fires were fought with water from pitcher pumps, each delivering less than five gallons a minute.
By 1912 the budget of the East Islip Fire Department District was only $600. In 1964 the budget exceeded $6,000.
The fine firehouse built in 1928 had the old bell given in 1891 by George Taylor, former owner of the Heckscher State Park property. This firehouse was dedicated on August 3, 1928 and still stands on Montauk Highway near Carleton Avenue. Edward Newman of East Islip was the Fire Chief when the new firehouse was erected. In February 1964 Mr. Newman dedicated a history of the East Islip Fire Department to Frank A. Nowak, only surviving member of the first gallant thirty-one.

The one-hand drawn ladder and bucket truck have been replaced by nine pieces of modern apparatus. Today four sirens and over one hundred radios alert over one hundred men, and these brave men may be called to serve more than one hundred times a year, on a volunteer basis.


more to come..