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Firefighter, Engine Co.

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Halesite Mourns Ex-Chief Adam Maliszewski - Father of the Department's Ambulance Service

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Officers and members of the Halesite Fire Department mourn the loss of Ex-Chief and 39-Year member Adam Maliszewski.

While Ex-Chief Maliszewski moved away from the Halesite Fire District many years ago, his legacy continues to be felt today. For it was through his leadership and guidance that Halesite first began providing ambulance service to Halesite.

Following tours as Hose Rescue Company Lieutenant and Captain, Adam Maliszewski was elected Chief of the Halesite Fire Department in 1966 and again in 1967. He was in charge of serious alarms including house fires on Mulberry Lane, Knollwood Road, Kanes Lane and the Boylan House on Taylor Road. The fire that gutted the Boylan house was so far advanced by the time the fire department was notified that Halesite firemen had to rescue three residents from the roof because flames from downstairs had trapped the residents on the second floor. He also was in charge of Halesite's men at mutual aid fire calls from Centerport at the Glynn's Inn Restaurant; from East Northport at the Vernon Valley Inn; and from Cold Spring Harbor at The Moorings Restaurant. Ex-Chief Maliszewski also participated in the heroic and widely reported rescue of a victim who fell 27 feet inside a water tower in June, 1965. When not responding to alarms, he was a dedicated member of Halesite's softball team and his wife, Joyce, was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary.

In June 1966, Halesite was recognized for outstanding work at a recent house fire. W.F. Clark, manager of insurance brokerage John C. Paige & Company, wrote Chief Maliszewski to offer the highest praise:

"The writer has been chasing fires for some years now from a Volunteers standpoint as well as from the fire adjustment end of the insurance Business.

It has been one long time however, since he has come across a job done as well as the tremendous job you, your officers and men performed at the recent fire...

Just wanted all concerned to know that from an insurance standpoint as well as from the firematic viewpoint this writer feels too the stop made under extreme conditions should be one for the books and that this stop should be looked on with pride."

Citing the need for ambulance service in 1967, Chief Maliszewski at the time observed, "For years, we have answered all types of rescue calls with our rescue truck. The only thing we lacked was a means of transporting the victims with an ambulance." Given the cost of purchasing a new ambulance, however, Chief Maliszewski needed to consult the community. In a letter to local residents Maliszewski presented his case. He cited the extensive training each member of the rescue squad went through. He mentioned that the new space afforded by the recently completed fire headquarters allowed for the addition of an ambulance. He urged residents to fill out a consensus postcard that was included in the mailing so a final decision could be made. In the end Halesite's residents voted to expand the department's charter and ambulance service soon began.

When formally requesting that the department's services be expanded to include ambulance duty, Chief Maliszewski wrote the Halesite Board of Fire Commissioners. In his letter he emphasized that the department was prepared to take on this new responsibility:

"Members of the Halesite Fire Department have completed all practical courses to date in Advanced First Aid by Instructors of the American Red Cross. They have also attended Trauma Courses given by doctors from Huntington Hospital. These Halesite Fire Department Members now hold cards from the American Red Cross and from the Suffolk County Trauma Committee."

On October 3, 1967, the Board accepted the set of rules for the ambulance submitted by the Rescue Squad and later allowed the newly acquired Cadillac Ambulance be put into service. The new ambulance, 225, was outfitted with the latest equipment, including a Davis Inhalator. This innovative piece of equipment was among the first resuscitators in the Town of Huntington.

Ex-Chief Maliszewski also led by example--becoming an integral part of the newly created "duty crew" response system that guaranteed ambulance responses during the nightime hours. He was a dedicated member of the Sunday night duty crew along with one member who continues to be active today, Ex-Chief Dennis Magerle.

Soon after Halesite obtained its first ambulance, the fire department began responding to more rescue calls than fire alarms. That continues to be the case today and validates the vision of Ex-Chief Maliszewski and his 1st Assistant Chief, Andy Blanda.

In an fitting coincidence, on the day Ex-Chief Maliszewski passed away, Halesite learned that four new members had passed their Emergency Medical Techician (EMT) exam and had become certified by New York State as full blown EMTs--the most to do so at one time in the department's history.

Halesite is proud of the service Ex-Chief Maliszewski gave to the members and to our community. As an Ex-Chief he is among a select few to achieve the highest rank in our organization. Since its founding in 1901, only 43 people out of nearly 800 Members have ever been elected Chief. Ex-Chief Maliszewski is only one of seven members of the Hose Rescue Company ever to achieve this office. We are grateful to his family for allowing us to share him during his 39 years of service and for the many more years of friendship that endured after he moved from the area. We send his family heartfelt condolences and will honor Ex-Chief Maliszewski's service to the community in the years to come.




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