Glenwood H.&L., E.&H. Co. inc.

This is an unofficial page and is an historic look back at the Glenwood Fire Company

This page is still under construction

Last Update  03/09/2003

The Glenwood Fire Company is a volunteer fire department chartered under the membership corporation laws of the State of New York in 1907, that provides fire and rescue services to the unincorporated villages of Glen Head, Glenwood Landing, the incorporated village of Brookville and part of the incorporated village of Roslyn Harbor on Long Island, New York. The Glenwood Fire Co.(radio 530) is one of the departments in the fifth battalion of the Nassau County Fire Service.

History of Glenwood Hook & Ladder, Engine & Hose Co., Inc.

On April 18, 1907, eighteen men met at the chapel of the Glenwood Landing Church, for the purpose of forming a Fire Department. Those present were: Oscar Hendrickson, George Salter, Thomas Salter, Fred Moore, John O'Neil, Timothy O'Neil, Clifton H. Van Cott, Royal Latourette, Henry Latourette, Edward Bedell, James Fyfe, Ernest Hittorff, Oscar Wiggins, Alfred Tappan, Fred Mathewman, Arthur Olson, Charles Olson. After a long and serious discussion, five trustees were elected as a committee to raise money by subscription for the equipment of a Fire Department.

On May 2, 1907, an application for a charter was signed by the following men,as charter members of the newly born Glenwood Landing Hook and Ladder Engine and Hose Co. Fred Moore, Edward Bedell, Oscar D.Hendrickson, Henry Latourette, Edward S.Kinkaide, George Salter, Thomas H.Salter, Roy E.Latourette, Fred Mathewman, Timothy O'Neil, John J.O'Neil, William Smith, Oscar J.Wiggins, Ernest F.Hittorff and James Fyfe.

On May 23, Ernest Hittorff was elected the first Foreman, or Chief, of the newly organized Company. By June 20th, the sum of $161.00 had been collected and the trustees were empowered to purchase equipment. It is interesting to note that it was customary to collect 10 cents per member each meeting to pay for kerosene oil for the lamps. Caps and badges were purchased in August, 1907, and a "Fire Engine" was ordered. 25c dues per month was collected from each member. The charter was officially recorded in August, 1907, and the Glenwood Hook & Ladder Engine & Hose Co. was officially born.

In July, 1907 George Latourette was elected to membership; in September Will Seaman and Harry Tappen. Judge Townsend Scudder gave much time as legal counsel for the Company and was rewarded by being made the first honorary member.

The old schoolhouse, located on the present site of the Fire House, became the first Fire House, and the first apparatus consisted of a horse-drawn Hook and Ladder and two hose-carts drawn by the firemen. In March, 1913 electric lights were first provided for the Fire House. An old bell was the first fire signal, but later a steam whistle at the Nassau Light & Power Co. (now Long Island Lighting Co.) was used for fire signals. This whistle was also used by Sea Cliff with a different signal. Members were assessed 50 cents in 1913 for flowers and gloves to be worn at funerals. The first firemen's funeral attended was that of Valentine Smith, in 1914. In April, 1913, a dance for the benefit of the Company produced $6.80 in admissions-$6.20 in expenses and 60 cents profit for the Company.

In June, 1915 a fire district, consisting of Glenwood Landing and Glen Head across the L.I.R.R. tracks, was petitioned for and formed. In 1916 an amount of $300.00 was levied by tax, in each town of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead for the Fire Department. However, the Company was forced to resort to legal action to collect it and several years elapsed before it was settled. Also in 1916, it was voted to enlarge the little schoolhouse used as a Fire House, and $3,000.00 was raised by the sale of $10.00 bonds for this purpose. The property title was also cleared and it was noted that the Fire Department property now consisted of about 30 perches of land. The by-laws were changed in 1916 and the first Chief, instead of Foreman, was elected - Harry Tappen. A band was also started in 1916 with the proceeds of a minstrel show. Thus 1916 became a banner year for Glenwood's new Fire Department.

In 1917 and 1918, the years of World War 1, a Home Defense League was formed by the Fire Company to help in maintaining the home front. The flagpole, was presented by James Fyfe, and dedicated in April, 1918. It was a mast from a large sailing ship which raced in the International Yacht races. Note: a feather duster was also purchased in August, 1918. The first (new) truck was purchased in March, 1919, a Ford chassis for the sum of $593.00. The previous truck, a Stevens-Duryea had been purchased as a "used" truck.

In March, 1928 it was voted to dispose of the old Fire House and to build a new one on the same site. During the construction, a temporary fire house was built and used on the Stern Farm. In June, 1928 a ground breaking ceremony was held with Mr. Benjamin Stern of Stern Brothers, New York, as honored guest. Without his counsel and great financial assistance, the present Fire House would never have been built. He provided architects-Cherry & Matz-to design the House, and gave a substantial sum of money for the building. He was elected an honorary member of the Fire Company.

A year later, on January 26, 1929, the new Fire House was opened and dedicated with a parade and ceremonies by the local Company and visiting companies. The president of the Company, Peter A. Hesse, who had served for two years and had been a leader in the construction of the new house, passed away suddenly on January 9, 1929. Mr. Joseph Dioguardi, a trustee, was elected and installed in February, as President. 0scar J. Wiggins was Chief during this period.

During the Depression, 1929-1934, The Fire Company gave generously of its funds and many members served on the local relief committees.

During the war years 1941-1947, a large number of our young firemen were in the service of our country. The Company kept in touch with them by monthly letter and sent them a regular cash gift each month. Many beautiful souvenirs and interesting letters were sent to the Company by these service men. Since the Fire Company was a strategic part of the Civil Defense of Long Island, which was a critical defense area, the Fire Company members devoted many hours of volunteer service on watch in the Fire House. A 24 hour watch was instituted from Pearl Harbor Day to the Japanese surrender, conducted entirely by volunteers from the Company. The Fire Department has been, and still is, an integral part of our Nation's Civil Defense program.

Great disasters, violent storms and especially the hurricanes of 1938,1944 and 1952 have through the years kept the Fire Company members busy clearing roads, making rescues, pumping, preventing property damage, especially at the Long Island Lighting Plant, where the pumps worked continuously for several days to keep the water away from valuable turbines so as to preserve light and power for Long Island homes. An emergency crew was organized in 1932. These crews have developed over the years into a highly trained, efficient crew, which now responds to emergency calls 24 hours a day-every day of the year.

Hundreds of lives have been saved by the fine work of these unselfish crews.

In addition to the fire protection and emergency services provided by the Fire Company, other activities for the benefit of the community and its citizens have been given by the Company. The headquarters building has provided a meeting place for youth groups, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, for community and civic associations, for the Women's Club, for church and recreation groups. Movies, dances and children's Christmas parties have been sponsored and paid for by the Fire Company.

During the period from 1928-1940, the Fire Company held annual parades, fireworks and old-fashioned celebrations for the community, on the Glenwood School grounds.

The alarm system was tied in with the Civil Defense alarm and the Company members responded to all Civil Defense exercises. Training in "First Aid" had been an essential part of the training of all of The Fire Company firemen. Wood Gaylor organized the first "First Aid" crews and became the first Captain. Since that time, James Knight had carried on an extensive program of training in "First Aid", also serving as crew captain. James Knight also organized the first Blood Bank for firemen after the war. During the World War II and the Korean War, our men donated blood generously at regular intervals to the Red Cross Blood Bank.

Glenwood Landing's Fire Company has served the community for these many years, protecting the lives and property of our people. Today the Company stands as one of the best equipped and best trained units in the County, ready for any emergency whether it be fire, disaster, floods or other emergencies.

The members are all volunteers, resident citizens of our community, carefully selected and screened by a commmittee of members. It is considered a great honor to be elected to become a member of this Company. No man is a full-fledged member until he has served one full year of training as a probationary member and voted upon twice-once by the membership, once by the line officers. The Company now has a, strong Exempt Firemen's Association, which provides a small insurance and death benefit for its members. The funds for this purpose consist of money rebated by foreign insurance company premiums and membership dues.

We salute the members who gave unselfishly of their time and energy to build up this efficient Company and trust that those who follow in their footsteps will continue to render the same unselfish service.

Main House

This is the Glenwood Fire Company's main house located on the corner of Grove street and School House Hill Road in Glenwood Landing L.I.. This picture was taken by me on a visit in 1975.

house2 house3

There have been some changes to the main house since I took the shots in 1975. These pictures were taken by me although from different perspectives while on a visit in May 1999 and shows the addition to the west side of the building. I notice that the weather vane is missing from the top of the cupola in these recent pictures. Most all the pictures on this page were taken by me (except where noted) in 1965 during the time I was a member of this Department. One of the requirements for continued membership was that you had to attend a minimum number of calls, meetings and drills to stay on as an active member. When I moved to Elmira Heights to work at the Ward LaFrance factory, I could no longer keep up my active status, so I had to resign my membership. To my regret, I neglected to join the exempt members association. I would love to hear from any past or present members of the department. Email me at :


1950 model LF-21 MACK 1250gpm pumper powered by a 935 CID Hall-Scott engine. Although rated at 1250gpm it could and did attain 1500 gpm with ease. It originally had a deck pipe mounted directly to the pump. It more often then not wound up pumping from a hydrant putting the deck pipe out of range of the fire so we decided to remove it and reinstall it on the Approved pumper.


1000 GPM pumper built by the Approved Fire Apparatus Co. Powered by a six cylinder Waukesha 145 GZB 817 CID 280hp engine with a two stage Hale QLD10 1000gpm pump. It had the deck pipe mounted directly to the pump that was originally on the Mack pumper. The Approved Fire Apparatus Co. was eventually taken over by the Mack Co.


1964 Dodge/Maxim with a 750gpm Hale 2QLD75 two stage pump and four wheel drive this truck was an all purpose rig, able to handle both structure and brush fires. This shot was taken in front of the Glen Head Annex station.

Dodge Darley

1959 Dodge/Darley with a two stage Darley Champion 750gpm main pump plus a small high pressure pump (1000 psi.) that supplied the booster reels. The reel lines were equipped with Rockwood fog nozzles.


1933 series 300 American LaFrance V-12 chain drive pumper with a 750gpm rotary gear pump.


Seventy five foot Seagrave aerial ladder powered by Seagrave's own 904 CID V-12 gasoline engine. The engine was originally designed by the Pierce-Arrow Co.

Flood light

Dodge Power Wagon flood light truck with front mounted winch. This unit was equipped with a Kohler 10kw AC generator to operate the flood lights and salvage equipment such as submersible pump, water vac, and other electric tools. It also carried salvage tarps. Body work was by Hempstead Welding Co.

Diamond T

1936 Diamond T with a Barton-American front mounted pump and bodywork by Hempstead Welding. This rig also carried flood lights and had a power take off driven DC generator to power the lights. It also had a small booster tank with a booster reel recessed into the rear step.It was powered by a 6 cylinder continental 145cid engine. Photo: George J. Amhrein collection

39 Mack

1939 Mack model EF powered by a Continental 250 CID engine. The Department bought the chassis new in 1939 and had the rescue body built and installed by Hempstead Welding Co. It had a PTO driven DC generator that could power four 500 watt flood lights. As a 9 year old kid, I remember watching the members of the department trying out the different makes of chassis such as International, GMC and Ford before finally deciding on the Mack EF chassis. It started life as a rescue/ambulance but finished its career as a salvage rig.


1959 Superior Ambulance on a Cadillac Professional chassis. This was the busiest piece of apparatus the department owned.


This is a frontal shot of the 1938 Walter FXP-1000 pumper on parade, that the department purchased. It was built by the Walter Motor Truck Co. in Vorheesville, New York to NYFD specifications as a demonstrator. It was powered by a 517 CID Waukesha 6SRKR flat head gasoline engine with a two stage Hale 1000gpm pump. It was single tire four wheel drive. The company had hoped to gain a sales contract with NYFD for a number of these pumpers but the Mack company got the bid instead. I think the department paid eight thousand dollars for the rig at the time of purchase. I took this shot two doors from my house at the corner of Smith and Brookwood streets in Glen Head.


This is the builders photo of the Walter FXP-1000 pumper taken prior to delivery to the Glenwood Fire Company in 1938. The picture was taken in Queens, Long Island, New York, with the Triboro Bridge in the backgound


This photo of the Walter pumper crew was taken during inspection in 1957. From left to right are Ray "Irish" Sweeting, Len Root, Norman Wolf, Bill Styles, Eddy "Pitzie" Laszewicki, Neil Caggiano, Ray Foster, John Brala, Bill "Lodgie" Somelofski, Ralph Baade, Victor Puchalski, Bill Acker and Jim Gaynor. Photo: George J. Amhrein collection


This photo was taken during the company inspection in 1957. From L-R: Chief - Herman Miller, First Deputy Chief - Harold "Whip" Lockwood, Second Deputy Chief - George J. "Hammy" Amrhein. Photo: George J. Amhrein collection

Drill 2

The Glenwood Fire Company also had an active drill team. The Glenwood Greenhorns tournament team as they appeared in 1963. Kneeling: Bill "Specks" Farrell, Ed Sullivan, Warren Alexander, Dick Roper, Frank "Lefty" Alexander. Standing: Carman Ciampi, Scott Whitting, Neil Caggiano, John Matthews, John Mara, Len Wansor. On top of the rig is Steve Kopian with (young) Bill Swift sitting on the coat and boot rail who much later became chief of the Glenwood Fire Company.

drill team

This picture was taken in 1965 in front of the Glen Head Annex Station. From left to right are John Matthews, John Hinnegan, Frank Alexander, better known as "Lefty", Len Wansor, Dave Gerde, Scott Whitting, Al Brown jr., Dick Roper, Bill "Specks" Farrell, Warren Alexander and Steve Kopian. Also on the team but not in this picture was John Mara.

hose1 hose2

Drill team action showing the Glenwood Greenhorns in the Motor Hose "B" contest at the 1963 Hempstead L.I. drill. John Mara holds slack while Scott Whitting "makes" the hydrant

Station 2

As you can see there were also major changes to the Glen Head Annex or Station 2 as it is now known.

Roslyn Mutual Aid1

The Glenwood Fire Co. was called by the Roslyn Highlands Fire Department for mutual aid at a fire in a grocery store near the Roslyn railroad station, sometime in the early ninteen sixties. From L-R - Carman Ciampi, George Amhrein, Myself. Photo: George J. Amhrein collection.

Roslyn M Aid

This is the same fire at Roslyn. L-R holding pike poles are Dick Roper and Myself. Neeling by the deck pipe is Bill Grell and looking on is Arthur Pearsall with John Brala just visable next to him. Photo: George J. Amhrein collection.