In 1906 Commack was only a crossroads, and it was a warm evening in August when a small group of community spirited residents gathered in the town’s hotel at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Commack Road for a rather important meeting. This was the night a dozen or so residents were to launch the area’s first fire department.
Ironically, it was an out-of-towner, a weekend resident from Canarsie Brooklyn who was the driving force behind Commack’s charter crew of volunteers. His name was Ferdinand Freschkorn and he was a big man with even a bigger black mustache. He was an active member in the Flatlands (Brooklyn) volunteer fire department, when he wasn’t spending his time in Commack.
Thanks to Freschkorn and a few others of his persistence, the Commack Hook & Ladder Co. was born….but without a hook or a ladder. Shortly, however, this was also remedied, thanks again to our friend Freschkorn who brought a one-time FDNY hand drawn vehicle from out of it’s retirement home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It took a couple of days and just as many horses to bring Commack it’s first vehicle.
Along about October of the same year the department was incorporated. Then the dozen or so founding fathers set out to raise money for a firehouse, mostly by dances. The first $300 was used to purchase a lot on the present Jericho Turnpike site of the department. Still a building was needed.
In 1908 The first building was constructed by the members on the current site. The first motorized piece of apparatus was purchased, a 1921 Model T Ford which has been completely restored and can be viewed at the main firehouse. In 1924 the first addition was added, an old school house was moved across the street and modified to become part of the Commack Fire House.
In 1938 the Commack Fire District was formed and after that in 1939 the name was changed from Commack Hook and Ladder Co. # 1 to Commack Fire Department.
In 1952 a new wing was added to the firehouse. In 1959 a new firehouse was proposed but was turned down by the taxpayers. However, in order to provide space for two new pumper’s and an aerial ladder, the Commack Fire Department, out of it’s own funds, built an addition to provide space. Ten years later construction of a new firehouse was again put before the voters and it PASSED. The new firehouse was dedicated in 1964.
In the early 1970’s, the district saw Commack growing by leaps and bounds and purchased property all over the town. In 1974 Station # 3 (Originally Sta. 1 but changed to # 3 when the area surrounding the station was Company 3’s response area) was built on Harned Rd and New Highway, helping to cover the southeast corner of the district.
Commack was still growing with people moving out to the “burbs” from the city and in 1983 Station # 2 was erected on Elwood Road to help protect the West side of the District. Finally in 1996 Station # 4 was built on Kings Park Road protecting the Northeast part of the district. The way it is laid out now is, Truck Co. 1 is out of Headquarters. Engine Co.2 is on Elwood Rd, Engine Co.3 is on Harned Rd. and Engine Co. 4 is on Kings Park Rd.
In 1997, The district started construction of two new wings to the main house. First was a new dispatch center in the front of the building. In the rear a new state-of-the-art mechanics bay to service all the district equipment.
The Commack Fire District is a geographical area afforded fire protection by the Commack Fire Department . The affairs of the Commack Fire District are administered by a Board of Fire Commissioners. These elected officials, and, as municipal officers are subject to New York State Law in providing adequate fire protection to residents and business areas of the Commack Fire District.
Under law, the commissioners are charged with the responsibility of raising, by taxation, adequate funds for the maintenance and purchase of firefighting equipment. The annual budget includes such items as payments for hydrant rentals, training and education, uniforms for the firefighters, and salaries for district employees.
The Commack Fire District embraces an area of some fifteen square miles and the headquarters is located almost in the center of the district, and there are three other sub-stations located at three other strategic locations within the district.
The Commack Fire Department is a membership corporation of over 140 members who volunteer their services to the community 365 days a year 24 hours a day to respond to all fire and heavy rescue emergencies within the district. Many of our firefighters are our neighbors, they take part in community activities, and do all the things that ordinary people do including working a full-time job and taking care of their homes and families.