Early ‘engines’ of the Franklin Square Hose and Chemical, 1930s. (Courtesy of FSMFD)

One Hundred Years Of Cooperation

As spring turns once again to summer, the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department (FSMFD) is celebrating a century of community service, as well as the upgrades they’ve made and memories they’ve logged along the way.

On June 1, the FSMFD will host a parade in Franklin Square to honor its work, team members, leadership, and served communities of today and yesterday, culminating in a 100th anniversary celebration at Plattduetsche Park Restaurant ($8 entry, with food and drink for purchase, a raffle, and department t-shirts for sale).

Over the past few weeks, the volunteer-led fire department has also been posting numerous historical photos on social media as part of the centennial celebration.

In addition, FSMFD published a summary of their history online to help locals discover the landmark moments in their neighborhood fire department’s last hundred years, shared alongside photos stretching back to the 1930s.

Ahead of FSMFD’s centennial parade and celebration, Nassau Illustrated News spoke with Chief of Department Michael Multari about celebrating a century of providing a very essential service to the community, including his 17 years there so far.

“The most meaningful thing about our department’s history to me is the dedication of our volunteers,” Multari commented by email. “For the last 100 years, there have always been dedicated volunteers showing up answering the alarms when the community needs help.”

He continued, “A common misunderstanding is [around the fact] that all firefighters in our department are volunteers. We do not get paid for what we do.”

The Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department and District has survived and thrived through the decades on many styles of vehicle.
(Courtesy of FSMFD)

“We train, go to classes, and respond to emergencies all on our own time when we’re not working at our normal jobs. We take time away from our families to help the community we live in.”

Multari highlighted the work of several local residents who have all volunteered for more than 50 years each (i.e. for more than half of the department’s history to date) and who collectively have served 318 years so far: Honorary Chief Dennis Lyons, Ex-Chief Anthony DePietro, Honorary Chief Charles Albers, Honorary Chief Ronald Falzone, Ex-Chief Howard Block, and Ex-Chief James Brosnan.

For his part, Multari said, “My favorite memories with the department so far are all the events we have had over the years.”

“It is always a great time when everyone past and present comes together. Especially when the senior or former members take the time to share their stories from fires or emergencies they went to back in the day.”

Those who attend the parade will also get to see a bit of history in action, so to speak.

Multari explained, “In 2021, we were contacted by an estate salesperson [who said] that they found our 1939 International flood light truck. It was found in a barn in Saint James, New York.

After some negotiations, we were able to bring it back home. For the past few years, members of the committee have worked tirelessly to get the truck back on the road, and we are proud that it will be in the parade.”

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