Our History

History of the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department


            When thinking of what life was like in 1912, there is a tendency to romanticize.  The world of farming, fishing, travel by horseback and the lack of technology are described as the simple life.  The word idyllic is often used.  Our predecessors would likely disagree.  Pulling hose wagons on foot and pumping water by hand can hardly be described as simple.

            That is what firefighting was like when the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department opened its four sections (later to be called companies) in 1912.  Section 1 was on the east side of Plandome Road and Section 2 was on Valley Road just south of Northern Blvd.  Section 3 was on Prospect St in Thomaston and Section 4 was at the intersection of I.U. Willets and Lakeville Roads. Section 4 was part of the Red Lion Inn which is said to have been visited by George Washington during the Revolutionary War.  In 1926 Section 4 moved to the west end of the district on Northern Blvd.  As the community grew, a fifth company was needed for coverage to the south.  Company 5 became part of the M-LFD in 1947.  They moved to their current location in 1948.

Firehouses back then were simply barns or sheds used to store the equipment.  One of the original hose reels is at Co. 2 and iron ring used like a gong to summon members is at Co. 3.  Over the last century, the Department has strived to keep up with the ever-changing technology of the fire and rescue services.  Among these innovations, the M-LFD can be credited with a few “firsts,” including initiation of an ambulance service in 1929, a Fire-Police Unit in 1933 and the purchase of a 125’ Calavar ladder truck in 1972.  The Department now has a very impressive fleet of 18 apparatus for fire, medical and rescue response.  The latest equipment in auto-extrication and confined space rescue, phone notification of emergencies and on-board computers are just a few of the improvements made over the years.  A custom built training center at Co. 2 was opened in 2011.  Virtually any firefighting or rescue evolution can be simulated on-site for the reinforcement of proper techniques.

            We are rightfully proud of this level of commitment, but our greatest source of pride is the membership.  Whether notified by an iron gong or a smart phone, for one hundred years our members, many of whom are the sons and daughters of previous members, have been answering the call when our neighbors need help.  That spirit of public service and personal sacrifice will never change.         


Company #1 History Company #2 History Company #3 History
Company #4 History Company #5 History Ambulance Unit History



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