Readers Write: A salute to firefighting service

Readers Write: A salute to firefighting service

Michael J. Dolan joined the New Hyde Park Fire Department on March 5, 1963 with a deep passion and commitment to its success.  The ultimate testament is his 50-plus year track record in every facet of firefighting service – at every level.

For 50-plus active years, no doubt Mike has been, and remains, an integral member, as well as, a reliable representative.

Always present at countless fire calls, drills, meetings, memorials and fundraisers.  Always willing to extend a helping hand, and a handshake to say hello – regardless of one’s rank or position.

When he entered the Department, it was during the Vietnam War.  He choose to join the military becoming part of the U.S. Army.

Mike’s selfless service earned him eight medals and he earned the distinguished Purple Heart award for combat wounds received.

Michael was honored for his 50 years of outstanding service to the Fire Department, Board of Fire Commissioners and the residents of New Hyde Park at two special events – the annual NHPFD Installation Dinner/Dance back on April 29th held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury and a private affair on Nov. 18 held at fire department headquarters – this year.

At the most recent 50th anniversary celebration thrown for Michael Dolan – a dedicated member of Enterprise Engine Co. #1, having served as a Military Serviceman, Firefighter Member, Company Officer, Department Chief, NHP Fire Commissioner and Nassau County Fire Commissioner  – was a memorable occasion.

Town of North Hempstead clerk, Wayne Wink, on behalf of North Hempstead’s Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, along with state Assemblyman Tony D’Urosso, Department Chief Anne Mullooly and Company Lt. Joseph Barbagalo were among the VIP’s in attendance who helped officially welcome fellow firefighter members, extended family, friends, neighbors, and out-of-town guests to the affair providing speeches, proclamations, plaques and personalized jacket in Michael’s honor.

Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums served as surprised entertainment, followed by music by a local DJ.  To cap it off, there was a specialty cake presented representing all distinguish hats he’s worn.

Mike served as 1st Lieutenant for three years from 1982-1984.  He was a member of the Department’s first enrollment and graduating class of EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) school in 1973.

Mike was elected to the chiefs staff for five years from 1985-1990 and served as chief of department in 1990.  From there, he was elected a battalion delegate and was appointed secretary vice chairman.

He was then elected chairman of the Nassau County Fire Commission for the 1st Battalion serving from 2007-2009.

Following this top rank position, he was then elected New Hyde Park fire commissioner for five years serving from 2010-2014.  Mike received an outstanding service award in 2004 and also served as an active committee member of the Department’s 100th Anniversary memorial.

As a father of seven daughters and two sons, sharing time between family obligations and firefighter responsibilities may seem burdensome, but the rewards are immeasurable.

His wife, Frances, joined the Ladies Auxiliary and is an active member for over 45 years. Both their sons, Michael Jr. and Brian, are Active Hook and Ladder Company members.  Michael Jr. is also a proud active member of the FDNY.

Both sons are U.S. Marines, each serving tours in the aftermath of 9/11/2001.

Mike’s contributions also include helping with the grand opening of the Nassau County Fireman’s Children Museum & Education Center, in Garden City and the Nassau County Firefighters Burn Center Unit at NUMC Hospital, in East Meadow.

He is a proud member of the New Hyde Park Ex-Chief Association, New York State Fire Chiefs Association, Fire Chiefs Council of Nassau County and a charter member of the Nassau County Firefighters Emerald Society.

Today, Michael continues to be an active advocate of the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warriors’ Project, by continually attending yearly visits to wounded veterans at military hospitals during the holiday season.

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