The Central Islip Fire District was officially created by resolution of the Board of Supervisors of Suffolk County on March 21, 1905. This date is prior to the actual formation of the Central Islip Fire Company on May 5, 1906 however, as some organization and preparation had to take place before the Fire Company could begin providing fire protection to the community. This organization was conducted by the members of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Central Islip Fire District.
Property was purchased from Henry and Phoebe E. Holmes on East Suffolk Avenue for two hundred dollars on September 16, 1905. The original Truck House for the Fire Company was constructed on this site which was located approximately 500’ east of the intersection of East Suffolk Avenue and Wheeler Road. The Truck House faced toward the north, with the Long Island Rail Road to the rear. It is uncertain as to the amount paid for the construction of this building, but receipts from the time indicate payment in full in the amount of $402.78, with an additional amount of $55.52 for various furnishings. A hand-drawn ladder truck was purchased, as was a supply of buckets, and the Fire Company then began operations on the May 5, 1906 date.
The Board of Fire Commissioners are publicly elected officials whose responsibility it is to oversee the operation of the Central Islip Fire District, make purchases to provide the equipment and buildings needed for the Fire Department to provide fire protection, and adopt and enforce regulations governing the duties of the Department Officers and Members. The Board also prepares an annual budget which is submitted to the Town Board for approval and monetary funds are then raised through tax levies. All bills are processed and approved by the Board and paid for by the Fire District Treasurer.
The original Board of Fire Commissioners of the Central Islip Fire District was comprised of three members – Commissioners John T. Fisher, John J. Swartz, and John McHugh. The three Board member format remained in effect until 1933 when it was changed to five. The first Chairman of the Board was John T. Mulligan – it is uncertain as to when he officially was recognized as Board Chairman and he remained in this position until his passing in 1936, at which time the Chairman’s position was appointed to Richard D. Clarke, Jr. The first District Treasurer was George H. Hubbs who served from 1905 to 1915. Records do not indicate the name of the Treasurer(s) from 1916 through 1922. The decision to require a District Secretary took place in 1932 when Robert E. O’Donohue was appointed to this position.
In the original Truck House, there was no space for the Board to conduct the business of the District (in an Office setting), and it appears this was handled by meeting at this building (as did the Department and Companies), or elsewhere. Shortly after the Board was increased to five members, efforts were advanced to build a new Fire House due to a severe shortage of room in the old Truck House. Construction began on the new Fire House at #96 Carleton Avenue in April of 1937 – this building was completed in a short period of time, and the Department moved to this new location on October 16, 1937. (The original Truck House was retained through the 1970’s serving as the ‘Community Hall’ where meetings of various groups in Central Islip could hold meetings and other affairs. This building also served as the home of the Central Islip – Hauppauge Volunteer Ambulance Company when they began operations in 1955). A new Office for the Board was included in the construction of the new building, and they conducted their operations from this Office until 1973.
Additional buildings were constructed as the years went by – Station #2 at #110 Wheeler Road was completed in 1960, and the track and Arch were finished in 1962. A building for the “Hoboes” Drill Team was constructed to the rear of Station #2 in 1968. Station #3 was added in 1972 – a new Board Office was included in the design of this building and the Board conducted business from this location until 1980, when it was announced that the property opposite the Fire House on Carleton Avenue had been purchased. This was the location of a car dealership – the building was modified to provide new Offices for the Fire District, and to use the former service Department for this dealership as a mechanic’s area for the maintenance of the Department and District vehicles.
As the years passed, the 1937 Fire House was found to be inadequate for the Department’s needs and plans were proposed to construct a new Fire Headquarters. The property obtained in 1980 would be the site of this new facility, and construction began in June of 1988. Our new Headquarters was completed within a few years, and the official move from the 1937 Fire House to the new building took place on November 27, 1991.
Station #2 also required renovations and an addition was begun in 2002 to provide two more truck bays, a room for the members assigned to the two companies responding from this building (Engine & Hose Co. #2 and Hook & Ladder Co. #1), a storage/repair garage for the District, and a room on the second floor for records retention and other storage.
During all of their history, the Board of Fire Commissioners has continually strived to purchase the very finest, state-of-the-art equipment for use by the members of the Central Islip Fire Department so they can provide the best firefighting services to the members of the Central Islip Community. The purchase of numerous vehicles of all types (pumpers, ladder trucks / aerials, rescue vehicles, Chief’s vehicles and support vehicles), as well as other firefighting and communications equipment, have always reflected the Board’s intention to provide the very best for the Department membership and for the Community itself.