Joshua Charry has been elected chief of department by the members of the Great Neck Vigilant Engine and Hook & Ladder Co., Inc. (Vigilant Fire Company). Charry replaces Joshua Forst, who has held the position since December 2014.
“It is a tremendous honor to be elected as chief of the Vigilant Fire Company, a company that has a rich and storied history of providing first-class emergency response services to the Great Neck community for more than a century,” said Charry, a resident since 1984. “As a community-based service, the entire Vigilant Fire Company will continue to work as a cohesive unit as we respond to increased emergency calls throughout the peninsula.”
Charry joined Vigilant as a Firemedic in February 1994 and shortly thereafter became a volunteer firefighter. He went on to serve as an EMS officer for 10 years, twice leading the company’s EMS operation. Charry was elected fire second lieutenant in 2006 and served as the company’s assistant chief from 2011 to 2017.
“I couldn’t think of anyone better to take over the reins than Josh Charry,” said Forst. “While he is an outstanding leader and firefighter, the reality is that we do 2,000 medical calls a year, and this is the first time the chief will be a paramedic. He is a thought leader in his field, and I am confident in his abilities to lead the Vigilant Fire Company for the years to come.”
During his more than two decades as a member, Charry has played a pivotal role in the company’s numerous developments and investments. The newly elected chief led the initiative to have Vigilant ambulances certified by the State of New York and spearheaded the initiative for EMS members to have state-of-the-art gear and equipment.
He was also instrumental in the investments of LUCAS CPR devices, video laryngoscopes and many other innovations that have improved Vigilant’s delivery of emergency medical services to the residents of Great Neck.
“While I am sad to see Chief Forst’s term end, I know Chief Charry just as well and I am confident that under his leadership Vigilant will continue to provide the excellent service that our residents have grown accustomed to for the past 100-plus years,” said Kensington Mayor Susan Lopatkin.