At a meeting of the Point Lookout Civic Association during the Summer of 1931, the advantages of an adequately equipped Fire Department were pointed out. As a result of this meeting, a group of interested citizens got together and organized the Point Lookout Fire Company, Inc.
The following officers were elected and the Company started on its way: Foreman Frank Van Der Veer; Assistant Foreman George Plate; Financial Secretary Fred Harknett; Recording Secretary William A. Coyle, Jr.; Treasurer W. Howard Arrighi; Sgt.At Arms A. Schwab; Trustees-Joseph J. Scully; George Clodfelter and W.C. Cashiopp.
In September of 1931 the company, with the assistance of residents, purchased the first pumper from the North Bellmore Fire Department for $400.00. Shortly thereafter, the first firehouse was built by the members of the company at the foot of Cedarhurst Avenue and Bayside Drive in Point Lookout. That house was used by the company until it was purchased by the newly formed Board of Fire Commissioners on behalf of the Fire District on November 25, 1932 and moved to its present site at the corner of Hewlett Avenue and Lido Boulevard on a 60 x 100′ plot.
During the summer of 1933, under the leadership of Chief Joseph J. Scully, a movement was started to construct a hall, to be available for public meetings and social gatherings, on the balance of the plot owned by the Fire District. Construction was completed and the building was dedicated on July 6, 1934.
In 1936 a bond issue was approved by the taxpayers and the District acquired an American La France, 300 gallon per minute pumper, together with one thousand feet of hose.
During World War II, the United States Government converted the Lido Golf Course into a naval base, which contained its own Fire Department. After the close of the war, and coincident to the conversion of the naval base into a veterans’ housing project, the government loaned the Fire District all equipment which had been formerly used by the Navy. Simultaneously, the fire commissioners formed a veterans’ volunteer fire company. In the late 1940’s it became apparent that the development would eventually become abandoned and that more ample protection of the swiftly developing Lido section would be needed. In the early 1950’s, having been unable to purchase the existing firehouse from the authorities, the Fire District acquired the present site of the Lido firehouse by condemnation. Thereafter, the Lido firehouse was erected and dedicated on September 27, 1957. Progress from this date forward has been very rapid.
This brief history would be incomplete if mention were not made of the valuable services rendered by Col. Thomas S. Sherman, who served as secretary and treasurer of the Board of Fire Commissioners from the date of its organization until his passing in 1944.
Special thanks are due to Ex-Chief Scully and Former Commissioner Clodfelter for their assistance in the preparation of this history.
Harold T. Gates