Written by Kerri Bristol and Christy Hinko Friday, 31 December 2010 00:00Dedication, honor and pride are just some of the characteristics that the South Farmingdale firefighters possess. The department, located on South Main Street, is home to the men and women who help protect and educate us every day about the dangers of fire. Not only do these brave men and women help save people every day, they are also making an effort to help save the environment and money.
Tom Mastakouris, chairman of the South Farmingdale Fire Department (SFFD), recently spoke with the Observer about how the department has already taken action on going “green.”
He explained how the department has already started their commitment to energy conservation by installing supplemental lighting in the garages.
“After the installation of these lights the department has saved over $900,” he said.
This is important to SFFD because they are looking for ways to improve the department every day and to show great leadership to the community.
Mastakouris said that the next big step SFFD had taken was the installation of solar panels, a project that was completed in the last week of October by Sunation Solar Systems, Inc. (formerly Sun Power Systems) in Oakdale.
Solar panels are a natural way to produce energy that is more efficient and inexpensive to both the consumer and the environment. Sunlight is the main source from where the panels create energy that can be used every day. Solar is a reliable alternative when going green and protecting the environment.
Going “green” is a simple phrase, which means finding new and beneficial ways to help protect the environment.
Solar is also a beneficial choice for homeowners. Anyone can buy a home solar kit and may be eligible for a tax credit.
According to Mastakouris, SFFD teamed up with Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to maximize the benefit to the department. He said LIPA reimbursed nearly 60 percent of the costs, a rebate of approximately $45,000. Additionally, Mastakouris said the project earned approximately $29,000 in tax rebates.
The solar panels make it easier and faster for the department to respond to fire calls while saving money.
Aside from fire fighting and damage control, the fire department helps the community in many ways, such as a recent open house for the community to come and learn more about the firefighters and opportunities to visit schools and educate children about fire safety.
Mastakouris stated, “An amazing amount of leadership and dedication is what sets this department aside from others.” The installation of the solar panels is only one of the many “green” initiatives SFFD plans as they continue making a difference in our community and environment.