Ex-Chief and current Commissioner Patrick Scanlon was presented with the Hicksville Fire Department's Henry Gebhardt Award and ex-Chief Owen Magee was presented with the Hicksville Fire Department Certificate of Merit for their heroic actions during a house fire last year.
On the evening of Jan. 13, 2006, the Hicksville Fire Department received an alarm reporting a house fire with people possibly trapped at 14 Boulevard Drive. Patrick Scanlon was returning from a previous alarm in his private vehicle and responded directly to the scene. Upon his arrival, he noted a working structure fire upstairs and, entered the structure without the use of any personal protective equipment.
Due to the extreme heat and heavy smoke condition, Scanlon had to make his way through the home on his hands and knees. At the end of the hallway, he entered the bedroom and after hearing gurgling sounds, found Joseph Shurman and pulled him out of the room and down the hallway where he and an adult male civilian carried Shurman downstairs.
While Scanlon was performing the rescue, Engine #934 arrived on the scene. Ex-Chief Owen Magee assisted Scanlon in the rescue and, together, they carried Shurman outside and began Basic Life Support. Upon the arrival of EMS, they assisted in the treatment and packaging of the patient who was transported to Nassau University Medical Center in unstable condition with respiratory distress and a compromised airway.
Certificates of Merit, awarded to a member or members for services or actions rendered in the performance of duty that are deemed to be of a commendable nature, were presented to 1st Assistant Chief Robert Chiz, 3rd Assistant Chief Edward Korona, Lieutenant Justin Farrell-EMT/CC and firefighters Doug Chiz - EMT/B, William Kelly III - EMT/B, Fred Cavuoto, Michael Lang and Daniel Wicks.
On Feb. 27, 2005, the Hicksville Fire Department received a call for a possible cardiac at 355 Newbridge Road, apartment 67. Upon arrival, 1st Assistant Chief Robert Chiz noted the patient to be pulseless and apneic and transmitted a "Code Red."
Third Assistant Chief Edward Korona immediately moved the patient to the floor and started CPR with assistance from Wicks. Members of #939's crew performed various basic life support procedures including maintaining an open airway, cardiac monitoring and shocking the patient to reverse ventricular fibrillation. Following the defibrillation, Wicks continued chest compressions while Doug Chiz and Kelly maintained the airway. Lang assumed responsibility of the officers seat during transportation and, once the patient was situated appropriately, Chiz took over maintaining the airway on his own allowing Kelly to assist Farrell in gathering ALS supplies and monitoring of the artificial ventilations.
After starting an IV, Doug Chiz noted the spontaneous return of pulse and blood pressure. The skill and composure demonstrated by Cavuoto while driving allowed for the performance of the BLS and ALS maneuvers. At the hospital, the patient was connected to a ventilator with a stable blood pressure and in sinus tachycardia. She was transferred to CCU and then a medical floor and, within two weeks, was scheduled to return home.
According to fire district officials, the teamwork and level of skill displayed by the members of #939's crew and the chief officers on scene, contributed to the patient's survival.
For their bravery in the face of extreme danger, Chief Robert Chiz, ex-Captain Robert Johnson, ex-Captain John Keyer, ex-Captain Michael Scanlon, firefighter Timothy Chase and the late ex-Captain George Howard (posthumously) were named recipients of the Hicksville Fire Department's Henry Gebhardt Award for their actions during a dangerous call back in 2000.
On May 19, 2000, the Hicksville Fire Department Hazardous Materials team received a call for mutual aid from the Melville Fire Department for an 18,000-gallon propane tank leaking. The tank was located at the Huntington Quadrangle on Route 110 and the Long Island Expressway (LIE).
Upon arrival, the Haz-Mat team began conducting downwind monitoring continuously. A shift in the wind could cause a major disruption in the Friday evening rush for both the LIE and Route 110.
The tank continued to vent with hand lines being used to disperse the vapors, but this procedure could take days to empty the tank. The decision was made to remove the broken fittings and replace them with caps or shutoffs. Haz-Mat members had to climb into the hole where the tank was and get right on top of the leak.
Haz-Mat team members Robert Johnson, John Keyer, Tim Chase, George Howard, Mike Scanlon and Robert Chiz took turns removing the damaged pipes. Under very dangerous conditions, these members removed broken pipes and properly capped the leaks, while being supported by numerous members of the Hicksville Fire Department on scene, ready to help in any way they could. After four hours, the leak was stopped.
William Thunell, Patrick McGeough, Edward Korona, Brian Anderson, Kevin Brevogel, Paul Caglione, Glenn Cisek, Don Hudson, Anthony Wigdzinski, Joseph DiFronzo, Scott Drayer, William Kelly, Michael Krummnacker, Eugene Pietzak, Benjamin Butt and Steve Ocuto, are members who worked at the scene in a support capacity to the above mentioned Gebhardt Award recipients; each received a Unit Citation awarded to personnel whose actions involved in an outstanding fire ground or heavy rescue operation, which depended upon teamwork and cooperation resulting in the protection and or saving of human life.
Ex-Captain Phil "Tex" Zulkofske received the Department Service Award. Zulkofski joined the Hicksville Fire Department more than 25 years ago after having served better than five years with the Jericho Fire Department. After receiving his "Life Active" status from the Hicksville department, he continued his dedication to both his company and the Hicks Drill Team.
Over the years, Zulkofske has become a constant when it came to the team, especially when it came to driving. He was responsible for getting the trailer and the rigs to and from each tournament and practice and more importantly, he was the one driving those same rigs during the tournament. Zulkofske's dedication to the team never seemed to end. He had served as the team's captain many times over the years.
Zulkofske was part of the team that broke the state records for the "Efficiency" and "Buckets" events. He and the Hicks had been 9th Battalion Champions numerous times. With Zulkofske at the helm, the Hicks had broken many team records in nearly every event. He did this most recently in his last tournament ever, breaking a team record in "B" Ladder that stood for more than ten seasons. Zulkofske's last two years with the Hicks were some of the most productive in the team's long history. The 2006 season ended with the Hicks being crowned as the Nassau County Efficiency Champions. His final season marked a team record setting Nassau County Points Total that reflected in the Hicks being awarded by the Drill Association as the "Most Improved Team."
Although Zulkofske has completed his final season with the Hicks, the hard work he has put into the team over the years will echo for many more years to come. The team would not have been able to accomplish what it has without the dedication of Phillip "Tex" Zulkofski.