The Nassau County Junior Firefighters Association (NCJFA) unveiled a monument at Eisenhower Park on Sunday, May 15, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the association. After the presentation of colors, Jerry Presta, NCJFA chairman, welcomed junior firefighters from the association’s 41 fire departments, including several junior firefighters from the Great Neck Alert Fire Company.
Politicians and dignitaries spoke at the event honoring the junior firefighters’ commitment to being the next generation of volunteer firefighters in Nassau County. Speakers included Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves, State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, President of Executive Council of Firematic Associations Jose DaRocha, Nassau County Fire Commission Chairman Denis Collins, Nassau County Fire Marshal Scott Tusa and Rachel Buczynski from the National Volunteer Fire Council in Washington, DC.
NCJFA President Richard Field and Mangano pulled off the blue tarp that was wrapped around the eight-foot monument, which is inscribed with the Nassau County Junior Firefighters emblem and the names of the association’s member fire departments. Facing the monument are two stone junior firefighters, representing a male and a female junior firefighter.
Allen Sedaka, owner of Great Neck-based Durite USA, designed, built and donated the monument that took about a year to construct and cost more than $100,000.
Supplies and donations from local fire departments, companies and organizations went towards the construction of the patio, lighting
and landscaping surrounding the monument.
The NCJFA brings together junior firefighters from across Nassau County to learn skills, such as leadership and working as a team, while learning to be firefighters. The association was started in 2006 with the goal of preparing teenagers to become firefighters while providing them with community service opportunities.