The late New Hyde Park Fire Department member Zachary Fazekas was honored at the 2018 Town of Hempstead firefighter service awards last Thursday.
Town Supervisor Laura Gillen presented medals and plaques to 27 service members. Fazekas died in a motorcycle accident on July 14 on his way to an EMT class in Point Lookout.
His parents, John and Sara, received the award.
“Those before us have demonstrated professionalism in the most trying of circumstances,” Gillen said. “They have displayed courage in the face of sometimes insurmountable odds and they have shown dedication to duty as their family members have waited and worried about them.”
Fazekas took the oath to become a volunteer firefighter on Sept. 20, 2016, and was assigned to Hook and Ladder Company 1. Fazekas excelled in response time, responding to 55 percent of fire calls and an additional 15 percent in rescue calls, according to the department.
He was heavily involved with the department, often showing up early at functions to help set up and taking an advanced EMT class to further his firefighting abilities. Fazekas attended Nassau Community College while serving the department.
“We nominated Zach just because of what he was about and the determination he had,” Hook and Ladder Company 1 Lieutenant Peter Mastrandrea said. “Everything he wanted to do he took head on.”
Fazekas appreciated the experience of the senior firefighters who surrounded him in the department and was a self-taught expert with the “jaws of life,” among other departmental tools. Officers often struggled to deny Fazekas his requests to drive the rig, because “of his will and determination to excel when taking on new challenges,” officials said.
When someone saw his silver Jeep coming down New Hyde Park Road with a blue-light bar blaring, people knew Fazekas was coming, the department said.