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Hail To The Chief

Epple named 37th Levittown Fire Chief

 

As a kid growing up, Donald J. Epple Jr. would mount his bike whenever he heard sirens, following the bright red fire truck to scene where he would watch as his father and members of the Levittown fire department put out the blaze. Following in his father’s footsteps, Epple joined the Levittown Fire Department on May 20, 1979, as a probationary firefighter and before long became a member of Ladder Company No. 1. 

 

Now, 35 years since first joining the department’s ranks, Epple has been named the thirty-seventh Chief of the Levittown Fire Department.

 

“I call it my career,” Epple said, jokingly. “I love what I am doing.”

 

Epple was first elected to the position of Second Lieutenant in April 1984 and within a year, he moved up through the ranks to First Lieutenant. By 1987, he was named Captain of Ladder Company No. 1. After moving to the other side of Levittown, Epple transferred to Engine Company No. 7, where he served as company Captain in 2007-2008. 

 

With experience as both a Truck and Engine Company Officer under his belt, and an unbrideled love for the firefighting profession, Epple decided to run for higher office. In 2010, Epple won his bid for the position of Third Deputy Chief of the department, and would win again in 2012 as Second Deputy Chief and then First Deputy Chief in 2013. 

 

“After 35 years, it just becomes second nature,” Epple said, about managing the department. 

 

In addition to his duties as Chief of the department, Epple works full time as a county employee and is currently divorced with three children—Jacqueline, Collette and Donald—who he said stood by him through it all.

 

“My children had to suck up a lot,” Epple said.

 

He also has an extensive training resume, is a certified Emergency Medical Technician and has been member of the Drill and Softball teams since he joined the department. On March 1, 1997, Epple received a letter of commendation for his actions during an out of state incident. 

 

As the 37th Chief of the Levittown Fire Department, Epple added that he envisions enhancing camaraderie within the department, as well as providing firefighters the best training possible in order to provide the highest standards of firematic and emergency medical services to the businesses and residents within the Levittown Fire District. 


News

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.

Last week, County Executive Ed Mangano declared amnesty for all speed camera tickets issued this summer.

Drivers across Nassau County were up in arms due to the recent implementation of the school zone cameras, which had issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents anger with the county’s speed cameras stems from lack of warning and the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

According to Chris Mistron, director of Nassau County Traffic Safety, while some residents were taken by surprise, summer school hours were considered a violation period.


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday Aug. 7. We had 33 golfers and a record 8  who scored under 40.  Low overall score was won by newcomer Ed Hyne with an impressive 33, his second low net in a row. Charlie Acerra scored a solid 35, and won low overall net with a 26; his best score in 4 years.

 

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more.  The league is a 100 % handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

Golfer Annie Park, 19, of Levittown came close at the U.S. Women’s Amateur tourney, but missed the cut, finishing at 149, 9 strokes over par and just one stroke away from the match-play cut-off. 

 

“I couldn’t make any putts, so then I had more pressure into my shots to get it closer,” Park said, “but obviously that’s not going to work.”


Calendar

BOE Planning Session

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Bad Seed Auditions

Thursday, Aug. 28

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs

Friday, Aug. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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