Thank you for comments of support and in defense of the Vigilant Fire Company last night during the Board meeting. It is very encouraging to hear that the Board of Trustees appreciate and respect the services that all the volunteers of the Fire Department work so hard to provide.
I would also like to express my disappointment with regards to the comments made by Mike Sweeney. The volunteers of the fire service (not only the Vigilants) take pride in the high quality of service that we provide to our communities. Mr Sweeney’s comments implying that any fire department responds to an emergency while “punch drunk” are uncalled for, insulting, and show an utter lack of respect on behalf of the Village of Great Neck Plaza. While I appreciate the letter of apology from Mr Sweeney I believe that further action is required. These comments were published and read by the residents whom we work so hard to protect; it is only fair that an apology be made public in the same manner.
Respect from the public is extremely important for fire company morale and membership recruitment and retention. While volunteerism does not provide monetary compensation it does allow the volunteer to walk the streets of our community with our heads held high. It creates a feeling of immense pride knowing that the community appreciates the many nights without sleep, missed time with our families, and hours spent training to better serve our fellow residents. Without the respect of the public we are left with residents such as those present last night that questioned the service that we pride ourselves in providing.
Again, thank you for your words of encouragement and I hope you can share these words beyond the group of people in attendance at last nights meeting.
Great Neck Vigilant Engine & Hook & Ladder Company