Written by Frank Ozol, chairman, Boathouse Committee Friday, 13 November 2009 00:00The Atlantic Steamer Fire Company would like to invite the community to an Open House and Dedication of their new Water Rescue Facility on Sunday, Nov. 15 at noon at the boathouse.
In 1997/98 state Senator Carl Marcellino held community meetings to discuss possible plans for the Western Waterfront in Oyster Bay. Amongst those plans was a facility for Atlantic Steamer Fire Company’s Dive/Rescue Team. Atlantic Steamer has the only fire department dive team on the North Shore of Nassau County. The team has been called to assist as far away as New York City to the west, Jones Beach to the south and Northport to the east and has over 20 divers with various certifications. Training has taken place at many locations around Long Island and has even included ice rescue.
Equipment for the team includes a 23-foot boat that is equipped for the dive team and can be a floating ambulance. It also has a deck gun and can pump 1,000 gallons of water per minute to fight boat fires, dock fires and even house or building fires close to the water. Two three-man wave runners are housed to transport personnel to the scene of water accidents expeditiously. The fire company also has two inflatable boats with outboard motors to get to places difficult to reach with larger apparatus. A converted bakery truck was outfitted to carry the dive team and its equipment to other communities when called upon to assist in a mutual aid.
Atlantic Steamer has a small firehouse. It houses state-of-the-art firefighting equipment, which includes a 3,000-gallon tanker (unique to this area) and a heavy rescue truck that responds to ambulance calls. With the addition of the water rescue equipment, the firehouse has been bursting at the seams.
Unfortunately, the plans for a museum and other things have not come to fruition on the Western Waterfront. However, Atlantic Steamer would not let the plan for a needed boathouse facility die. Senator Marcellino connected the fire company with the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto told the fire company he would do all he could to assist in obtaining a piece of property for the boathouse. True to his word, the supervisor was able to secure a parcel on the old Capone property for the fire company’s needs. On Dec. 18, 2007, a picture was taken of Supervisor Venditto, Councilman Anthony Macagnone and members of the Atlantic Steamer Fire Company performing a ceremonial groundbreaking for the boathouse. The picture appeared in the local newspapers.
The supervisor didn’t stop there. He gathered all the necessary TOB personnel and instructed them to do all in their power to help make the construction of the facility happen. In the following year and a half, the fire company boathouse committee met continuously with the town Department of Planning & Development, Parks Department, Code Enforcement Officers and others, as well as the New York State DEC. Planning & Development and the DEC made changes to the original plans, downsized the facility, moved its location, required all necessary permits were in order and made sure everything that was done was within their specifications. The Department of Parks constantly watched over construction. The DEC even dictated what plants should surround the building.
The fire company got multiple bids on all facets of the design and construction labor and materials. Donated labor and materials were used when possible.
The ASFC Water Rescue Facility is now completed. It will house vital, life-saving equipment for the beach and boating community. It was built to last 100 years and was made to be aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional.
The Atlantic Steamer Fire Company is made up of volunteers who live in the community and spend many hours training in firefighting, emergency medical services, scuba-diving, boating and other endeavors to help the Oyster Bay community.