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Letter: Resents “Shock and Awe” Headline

As the former fire chief and 28 year life member of the South Farmingdale Fire Department, I would like to voice my strong resentment to your newspaper staff for the “shock and awe” headline on Aug. 6, 2010 about a South Farmingdale fireman arrested.

The charged individual’s alleged crimes had nothing to do with his association to the fire department. It is a shame that the editor of the Farmingdale Observer did not have the foresight in doing any investigative reporting as to who this person actually is. The editor would have found out that his career job is with the Town of Oyster Bay Sanitation Department where he was recently promoted to dispatcher and he is also a very active member of the Farmingdale Republican Club. Was this omission a ploy to sell more newspapers or just a way to knock the fire and rescue personnel off the pedestal the community holds them on for their hard work, commitment and dedicated service?

The 125 or so proud members of the South Farmingdale Fire Department are members of the community dedicated to volunteering their personal time and expertise in helping the community in emergency fire and rescue services. The annual call for emergency help has amounted to over 1,000 runs each year for at least the last three years that I am aware of. That’s 1,000 times members have had to say good bye to their families, miss a family meal, leave their beds in the middle of the night or miss their children’s activities to respond to help someone in need.

Shame on the Farmingdale Observer for deliberately choosing to slap the faces of the members of a professional and dedicated volunteer fire department with this misleading headline. The alleged horrible actions of an individual occurred from his home and personal computer not the firehouse.

Steven Mormino