History of Company #5

In the late 1940’s, the south end of the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire District was changing rapidly. The area that was largely potato farms was now becoming communities such as Lakeville Estates. (There are still concrete walls on Evans St. and Sylvia Lane which bordered a few of the old farms.) As the neighborhoods popped up, so did the need for increased fire protection.

Company 5 was formed as a separate unit in 1946 and was accepted into Manhasset-Lakeville in 1947, operating from the Lakeville Road Pump Station. The following year, the tiny firehouse was moved on a flatbed truck to 78th and Stewart Avenues. In 1957, the present quarters was built on the same site. The building had the distinction of being the first split-level firehouse in the U.S. It was written up in the Journal of Architecture, winning several awards.

Engine 50 was the first piece of equipment purchased for Company 5 and now serves as the Department’s Antique Rig (Antique Engine 8750). A second apparatus, a City Service Hook and Ladder, was added in 1950. Over the years there were various engines with some differences. For example Engine 55 carried 750 gallons of water. But the increased volume of operations on the highways called for a new style of both apparatus and equipment.

Company 5 faced the challenge of handling those calls in addition to operating as a normal engine company. Hurst Tools (Company 5 received the first in the department in 1976) and the latest equipment for foam operations became as important as halligans and ladders. With member safety being paramount, a new style apparatus became vital as well. Company 5 now runs with Engine 8756 which is a 1996 KME. It is a 1500 GPM enclosed pump panel pumper. Engine 8758 is also a KME 1500 GPM top-mount pumper. Squad 8759 is a 2011 Smeal Rescue/Pumper with a 1250 GPM pump. All three are designed for maximum protection of the driver and the crew.

Many members have served with distinction over the years. Charles Skakandi and Ex-Chief Walter Salowski are 50+year members. Ex-President Martin Landweber was Department Sergeant-at-Arms and Secretary simultaneously. Lou Scida was one of only four members of the department to serve as both Chief and President. As with most fire companies, the family thread runs deeply. Ex-Chief Salowski’s son Walter, a former member, is an Ex-Captain, as are Ronald Stone and his son Brian. Ex-Chief Michael Uttaro is the grandson of charter member Joseph Coote. Michael and Eamon Ward are active members and their brother Brian is a former member. Chief Michael Farrone’s daughter Carly is also a member.

Company 5 has served the community proudly for over sixty-five years. We will continue to do so to honor the commitment of those who came before us and will instill that pride in our future members.

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