Vigilant Elects First Fire Company EMS Chief In Nassau History

Ex-Chief Robert A. Lincoln, Jr., swore in the new EMS Officers.
Ex-Chief Robert A. Lincoln, Jr., swore in the new EMS Officers.

On Monday, Jan. 4, the Great Neck Vigilant Engine & Hook & Ladder company held a historic vote as they elected Steven Blocker first assistant EMS chief. Blocker is the first EMS chief elected in Nassau County who was not part of a Volunteer Ambulance Corp.

“This is not the first time that the Vigilants have been at the forefront in making change in Nassau County, and I am proud of Chief Blocker and excited to work with him,” said Joshua Forst, chief of the department.

Blocker is both a paramedic and a firefighter, who has held multiple EMS roles prior to this election and has received numerous awards over the years for his service to the community as a member of the Vigilant Fire Company.

“I am thrilled that the membership chose me to be the first ever EMS assistant chief,” said Blocker. “This change proves our level of commitment to the residents of Great Neck and I look forward to working with the members to improve both response and training.”

Also elected were EMS Captain Steven Shapiro, a paramedic who is returning to the role of EMS captain, having served in the position before; EMS First Lieutenant Tamir Cohen and EMS Second Lieutenant Daniel Behnam, both emergency medical technicians.

The Vigilant Fire Company is an all-volunteer fire company that provides fire and heavy rescue services to the villages of Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Great Neck Estates, parts of Thomaston and the unincorporated area of the Town of North Hempstead on the Great Neck Peninsula. The Vigilant Fire Company also provides all emergency medical services for the entire peninsula from the Long Island Railroad tracks north to the Long Island Sound.

The membership receives about 2,500 calls for emergency assistance annually.

To report a fire or medical emergency, call 516-482-5000. For other nonemergency questions, call 516-487-1086 or email Like the Vigilant Fire Company on Facebook at or follow them at


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