Fire Medic Company No.1 Gets State-Of-The-Art Ambulance Donation

Gathered in front of the Advanced Life Support ambulance donated by the Dejana Foundation, from left: Engineer Peter Kowalski, Captain Kevin Gately, Department Chairman Michael Tedeschi, President, Peter Dejana, Grant Administrator, Jean-Marie Posner, Chief of Department Brian Waterson, 2nd Assistant Chief Donald Reese. (Submitted by the Dejana Foundation)

Incorporated in 1979, Fire Medic Company No. 1 is the first of its kind in New York State, and one of the premier providers of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Port Washington and its neighboring communities. The volunteers represent a unique EMS company within the Port Washington Fire Department (PWFD) that does not require its members to fight fires but instead, dedicate themselves to administering emergency medical services.

Although not all Fire Medic Co. 1 members are fire-trained, they work side by side with the other PWFD companies on fires and rescue calls.

For more than a decade, Peter & Jeri Dejana Foundation has supported the Port Washington Fire Department and Fire Medic Co. 1. The Foundation’s grants enhance Fire Medic Co 1’s ability to meet the technological advances necessary in providing emergency medical services. Its most recent donation to Fire Medic Co 1 was an Advance Life Support Ambulance.

“An ambulance is an essential piece of equipment, and I am impressed with the sophisticated features of this state-of-the-art ambulance,” Peter Dejana, president of the Dejana Foundation said, “It is a great addition to their fleet of emergency vehicles.”
Federal and state regulations required improved equipment, more accountability at emergency incidents, specialized training and better physical fitness of firefighters and EMS. Fire Medic Co. 1 operates a state-of-the-art fleet of vehicles that include four Advanced Life Support ambulances, as well as a Primary Response Vehicle that provides quick response by trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Paramedics.

“The Peter & Jeri Dejana Foundation has been a great partner for Fire Medics and the PWFD, this is just the latest in a series of generous donations that has allowed us to enhance the emergency medical care we provide,” Kevin Gately, Captain, Fire Medic Co. 1, said. “Gifts like this not only help address immediate needs, but they free up funds that can be used to upgrade other essential equipment and obtain specialized training, allowing us to maintain the gold standard our community has come to expect.”

Fire Medic Co. 1 operates out of its own headquarters on Harbor Road, near Mill Pond. This facility provides operational, living, meeting, and overnight accommodations for the members who take duty in scheduled shifts. Fire Medic Co. 1 offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults and students and accepts members who reside outside of Port Washington when such slots are available.

The Port Washington Fire Department is one of the largest and busiest volunteer fire departments in New York State and the busiest fire-based EMS agency in Nassau County. There are more than 270 active volunteer members who respond to more than 3,600 calls for help each year.

“We are very grateful for the generous gift towards a state-of-the-art ambulance that was recently donated by the Dejana Foundation,” Brian Waterson, Chief of Department, Port Washington Fire Department said. “This ambulance will serve the Fire Medic Co. 1 and the Port Washington Fire Department as an Advanced Life Support ambulance and will respond to the needs of the residents of the Port Washington Peninsula for many years.”

Today, like all volunteer fire departments throughout the country, the PWFD is dealing with the reality of having to respond to more emergency calls with fewer people. As the largest volunteer organization in Port Washington, the PWFD and Fire Medic Co 1 reflects the diversity of our town, all sharing in the common goal of being “neighbors helping neighbors.”

If you would like to help or learn more about volunteering, call 516-742-3300 or visit

—Submitted by the Peter & Jeri Dejana Foundation