Halesite Fire Department Holds 113th Annual Installation of Officers

"Spirit of Halesite" (L-R; 1st Asst. Chief Greg Colonna, Awardee Pam Robinson, Chief Dan McConnell, 2nd Asst. Chief Jamie Magerle)
"Spirit of Halesite" (L-R; 1st Asst. Chief Greg Colonna, Awardee Pam Robinson, Chief Dan McConnell, 2nd Asst. Chief Jamie Magerle)

The Halesite Fire Department held its 113th Annual Installation of Officers on Saturday, April 26, at The Huntington Crescent Club.

Each member recognized received a special pin denoting their years of service.

Halesite's Chief, Dan McConnell presented several awards during the ceremony. The “Spirit of Halesite” award is a relatively new award, and recognizes the loyalty and friendship of non-members towards the Halesite Fire Department. This year's recipient was Pam Robinson, who through her former position as the Huntington Patch editor, made the Halesite Fire Department visible to the community at large. Officials say coverage in Patch enabled the department to increase its presence in the community, which helped it grow its membership to record levels.

Halesite’s level Special Recognition pin was given to Sarah Apgar, who made it her mission in 2013 to keep the department physically fit to safely perform duties as first responders. As the Department’s Fitness Committee Chairperson, she organized twice weekly group workouts, created a running team which participated at several local runs, increased the use of the gym by advocating for more equipment, and invented and tested a firefighter fitness device now being used at the FDNY Fire Academy.

Chief McConnell recognized KC Anna as the Rookie of the Year. A new member, Anna had a standout year in 2013.  He responded to essentially every other call in Halesite last year.  In total he logged over 487 hours in 2013 – the most of any member.  He completed his Firefighter I training and EMT certification in the same year, and officials say that in addition, he possess an attitude that is an example for all new members to follow.

Halesite’s Rescue Person of the Year award was given to Brad Gaito. Although Brad has only been a member for a few years, he already is one of the busiest responders in Halesite.  In 2013 he stepped up big time with his work involving the Rescue Squad, responding to over 100 fire and 100 rescue calls.  He is a considered a “go to” person whenever there are groups coming to the firehouse for safety talks. In 2013, he visited many local schools as an ambassador for the Halesite Fire Department.

Chief McConnell presented Halesite’s Firefighter of the Year award to Wayne Jeno, also a relatively new member.  During the year Wayne responded to 47 percent of all fire calls and logged over 380 hours of service to the community.  Officials say Jeno serves as an example for others to follow.  He is passionate about training and is among the first to step forward whenever a job needs to be done.  He was also a “tremendous asset in several fires Halesite responded to last year,” according to a news release.

The following Department Officers were sworn in during the ceremony:
  • Chief - Dan McConnell
  • 1st Assistant Chief - Greg Colonna
  • 2nd Assistant Chief - Jamie Magerle
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees - Ex-Chief Dennis Magerle
  • Treasurer - Roger Ketcham
  • Secretary – Kate Kuntz
  • Assistant Secretaries-Jessica Kitzen and Lucy Oppenheim
  • Chaplain - Nick Berghela
  • Sergeant-at-Arms - Bob Wenk

The following Line and Rescue Officers were also sworn in:


  • Hose Company - Ex-Chief Tom Holly
  • Engine Company - Dominic Spada
  • Hook & Ladder Company - Erik Weber
  • Rescue Squad - Kate Kuntz


  • Hose Company - Hugh O'Brien
  • Engine Company - Ex-Chief Mike Magerle
  • Hook & Ladder Company - Ex-Chief Pete Magerle
  • Rescue Squad - 1st Lieutenant – Hank Waldron
  • Rescue Squad - 2nd Lieutenant - Jesse Sammis

The following members were recognized during the ceremony for reaching years of service milestones:

  • Dennis Magerle – 55 yrs.
  • Dennis Troup – 45 yrs.
  • John Blanda – 40 yrs.
  • Pete Magerle – 35 yrs.
  • Craig Lanigan – 30 yrs.
  • Dan McConnell, Bill Mitchell, and Bob Waring – 25 yrs.

The evening was made possible by Halesite's Board of Fire Commissioners. Members and their guests celebrated well into the night with live music provided by His Boy Elroy.

Photos (Halesite Fire Department):
  • "Spirit of Halesite" (L-R; 1st Asst. Chief Greg Colonna, Awardee Pam Robinson, Chief Dan McConnell, 2nd Asst. Chief Jamie Magerle)
  • Firefighter of the Year (L-R; 1st Asst. Chief Greg Colonna, Awardee Wayne Jeno, Chief Dan McConnell, 2nd Asst. Chief Jamie Magerle)
  • Rookie of the Year (L-R; 1st Asst. Chief Greg Colonna, Awardee KC Anna, Chief Dan McConnell, 2nd Asst. Chief Jamie Magerle)
  • Halesite's Board of Officers (back row L-R; 1st Asst. Chief Greg Colonna, Engine Captain Dominic Spada, 1st Lieutenant Rescue Squad Hank Waldron, Hook & Ladder Captain Erik Weber, Hose Rescue Captain and Ex-Chief Tom Holly, Hook & Ladder Lieutenant and Ex-Chief Pete Magerle. front row L-R; Hose Rescue Lieutenant Hugh O'Brien, Chief Dan McConnell, Rescue Captain Kate Kuntz, and 2nd Asst. Chief Jamie Magerle)


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