This web site is dedicated to the volunteer citizen firefighters of Port Washington, Long Island, New York, who have devoted their time, and in some instances given their lives, to answer the call for help from the community during the past one hundred years.
“Answering the Call” was developed by the Port Washington Fire Department to commemorate its 100th anniversary and to preserve its history for generations to come. Its creation is a collaborative effort between many people both in and out of the fire department.
We are exceedingly grateful to Ex-Chief Peter Zwerlein who conceived this project and devoted hundreds of hours compiling data, researching, digitizing, reviewing and editing the web site, photographs and the oral history transcripts and audio.
The oral histories contained within the site would not have been possible without the knowledge, counsel and guidance of Elly Shodell, Oral History Director of the Port Washington Public Library and her excellent staff. The library and the fire department are two of Port’s greatest assets.
The Board of Directors of the Port Washington Fire Department and the Board of Trustees of the Port Washington Public Library along with the Chief’s Office and the Library Director have been extremely supportive.
From the beginning the entire membership of the fire department has recognized the value of the project and approved the necessary funding to make it happen.
And, of course, the memoirists gave us their precious time, spoke their unique and informed reminiscences, and shared their photographic riches. Their participation was invaluable!
For the Port Washington Fire Department
Oral History Project Coordinator:
Ex-Chief Peter J. Zwerlein
Ex-Chief John E. Salerno, Sr., Atlantic Hook & Ladder Company No. 1
Frank Pavlak, Protection Engine Company No. 1
Ex-Chief Charles J. Lang, Flower Hill Hose Company No. 1
Fred Falconer, Jr., Flower Hill Hose Company No. 1
Steve Leeolou, Flower Hill Hose Company No. 1
Les Kent, Fire Medic Company No. 1
Historical Research & Narratives:
Frank Pavlak, Virginia Duncan, Sheila McCarthy Dunnells, Les Kent, Oscar Petersen, John E. Salerno, Sr., Peter Zwerlein
Digitization of Audio & Graphics:
Bob Cocks, Janet Chudd, Bill Hewitt, Dick Smith, Henry Wrobel, Peter Zwerlein, Port Washington News, Port Mail and Reporter, Port Sentinel, Newsday, Daily News, Brooklyn Public Library
Photographs, Artifacts & Institutional Memory:
Christina Alexander, Donald Alexander, Butch Carpenter, Paul Carpenter, Ex-Chief Geoffrey P. Cole, Donald Curtin, Tom Cycan, Karen DeLuca, Ex-Chief Joseph Fico, Jr., Dorothea Hahn, Everitt Hehn, Charles Henderson, Jeremy Hirschhorn, Janet Kimmerly, Windsor Kinney, Donald Kurz, Ex-Chief Charles J. Lang, Steve Leeolou, Bucky Lewis, John Murray, Frank Pavlak, David Pfister, Ex-Chief Edward Picardo, Harold Poole, Phyllis Read, Beverly Reese, Ray Ryan, Dan Salerno, Ex-Chief John Salerno, Sr., Ronald Sanchez, Carol Swiacki, Chief John Walters III, Richard Wood, Ex-Chief Peter J. Zwerlein, William C. Zwerlein, Ex-Chief William G. Zwerlein, Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society, Port Washington Public Library
Port Washington Fire Department Board of Directors:
Daniel Salerno, Thomas Tobin, Geoffrey Cole, Jane Weiss
Chief of Department:
John Walters III
For the Port Washington Public Library
Oral History Director:
Sally Wendkos Olds, Margaret Dildilian
Research Assistance, Archivist, Additional Interviewing, Technical Expertise, and Publicity:
Joan Bernhardt, Francesca Pitaro, Christina Southard, Peter Zwerlein, John Whittemore, Jackie Kelly
Library Assistant Director:
Library Board of Trustees:
Julie Geller (President), Lee Aitken, Myron Blumenfeld, Joseph Burden, Thomas Donoghue, John O’Connell, Rita Santelli.
comments & questions –
▪ The Official PWFD website
▪ Port Washington Public Library’s Local History Center