April 26, 2012
In Syosset and Muttontown
Firefighters, cops are now on same pager
The Syosset Fire District will provide — at no cost — two radio pagers to the Muttontown Police Department to monitor all Syosset Fire Department calls.
The action came at the District’s regular commissioners meeting Monday following a meeting earlier in the day between Syosset Fire officials, including Superintendent Jack Randazzo, and the Muttontown Police Chief William J. McHale.
The new receivers will be serviced by Muttontown and are expected to be in service by month’s end.
“It’s gratifying to see when emergency services professionals — those who understand professional police and fire requirements, policies and procedures — get together, they invariably solve issues, ensuring the continued safety of all our residents,” said Syosset Fire District Commissioner Gio Graceffa.
All parties agree this is the most cost-efficient solution offering the highest level of fire protection and emergency services to Muttontown residents.
“Had the proper channels been utilized beforehand, we are sure this misunderstanding could have been avoided. In the end we were able to work with the Muttontown Chief of Police to reach a solution benefiting all our communities,” he concluded.
Graceffa told the Guardian that Muttontown Mayor Julianne Beckerman appeared at the regularly scheduled commissioners meeting on April 9. She asked why a request from the village that the Syosset Fire District notify the Muttontown Police Department when there was a fire call in their jurisdiction was denied.
The commissioner said he told her that the district had not received a formal written request. The only communication on the matter was “back-channel with one of our commissioners and our superintendent.
“I told the mayor that if a request was put in writing, we would act on it accordingly,” he explained.
Graceffa went on to say that the Muttontown Chief of Police then put the request in writing.
However, his letter contained erroneous assumptions; namely, that the Syosset Fire District routinely notified the Old Brookville and Oyster Bay Cove police departments when going into their areas.
“We don’t notify any of the jurisdictions unless we require their assistance,” Graceffa stated.
The Syosset Fire District covers 14.4 square miles and services approximately 30,000 residents in Syosset and Woodbury, and parts of the Jericho, Hicksville, Plainview, Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor communities. It has five fire companies and a rescue company; all of the approximately 150 members are volunteers. An elected five-member Board of Fire Commissioners governs the District.