FI Fire Department: Critical Need of Volunteers

by Jane Ahrens

Fire District Commissioner Joe Brock recently compiled some vital statistics regarding the current members of the Fire District to share with the Island Community Board. The following is an update.

This month the Commissioners swore in the Fire Department Officers for 2015. These officers include Chief Wayne Doucette, 1st Assistant to the Chief Nate Malinowski, EMT Captain Carol Giles and Lieutenant Tracy Brock. The department is in need of a 2nd Assistant to the Chief and a Fire Captain.

Commissioners of the Fishers Island Fire District were pleased to recognize Firemen Penn Sanger and Greg Cypherd for 20 years of service, awarding them each with Life Member pins. Fireman JR Edwards received his 30-year Life Member pin and Fireman Ernie Middleton received his 50-year Life Member pin. Congratulations to each for their committed years of service to the Fishers Island Fire Department.

The Fishers Island Fire Department is in critical need of a few good men and women. This vital organization of the Fishers Island community is looking for volunteer firefighters and EMTs. All individuals that have their primary residence on Fishers Island, or commute to the Island for work every day are eligible. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact a member of the Fishers Island Fire Department listed below, the Fire Department secretary Jeffrey Edwards at, or the Fire District secretary Catherine Edwards at to obtain more information.

The District is also looking into the possible move to a paid fire fighter to work closely with the volunteer force. Additionally, several new volunteers may do the majority of their training on line, followed by attending a week-long certification session off island.

Founded in 1927, members work closely with Fishers Island’s year round doctor, Dr. Chris Ingram and the Island Health Project. There are 41 active volunteers currently serving (many in several roles) as department officers, firemen, pump operators, ambulance squad EMTs, and Sea Stretcher captains and navigators. Additional members serve as advisors, drivers, radio control and in other important capacities. Members serving on duty ‘in the field’, in their primary volunteer positions, break down this way for the 2015 Roster:

  • 2 officers
  • 27 fire personnel
  • 8 EMTs
  • 3 on Sea Stretcher

The District is looking for volunteers of all ages! Currently the age range is:

  • Under age 40: 7 members
  • Age 40-60: 24 members
  • Over age 60: 9 members

Life Members are those who have served for over 20 years in the department. Of the 44 Life Members, 15 are on active status.

Fire Calls Answered in 2014:

  • 67 Fire calls
  • 38 EMT calls
  • 23 Sea Stretcher runs

2015 Fishers Island Fire District and Fire Department Officers

Fire District Board of Commissioners
Joe Brock, Chairman
Jeff Edwards
Paul Giles
Aaron Lusker
Jennifer Sanger
Catherine Edwards, Fire District Secretary
Kristen Peterson, Fire District Treasurer

Fire Department Officers
Wayne Doucette, Chief
Nate Malinowski, 1st Assistant to the Chief
Carol Giles, EMT Captain
Tracy Brock, Lieutenant
Open positions: 2nd Assistant to the Chief; Fire Captain

Fire Department Executive Board
Greg Thibodeau, Chair
Tracy Brock
Wayne Doucette
Nate Malinowski
Tim Patterson
Art Walsh

Emergency Medical Service EMTs
Carol Giles, EMS Captain
Tracy Brock, EMS Lieutenant
Gail Cypherd, EMT
Jamie Doucette, EMT
Tawnya Eastman, EMT
Paul Giles, EMT
Bruce Hubert, EMT
Kapri Thomas, EMT


2015 Fishers Island Fire Department Volunteers

*indicates Active Member
LM indicates Life Member, reached on the 20th anniversary year

Ken Ahman*
Lillie Ahman LM since 1997
Richard Baker LM since 1969
Don Beck*
John Bergquist*
Joe Brock*
Tracy Brock*
Bob Brooks*
David Burnham*
John Clavin LM since 2002
Mike Conroy LM since 2006
Gail Cypherd
Greg Cypherd* LM since 1995
Dave Denison LM since 2003
Thomas Doherty LM since 1997
Jamie Doucette
Jeremy Doucette*
John Doucette LM since 2007
Wayne Doucette LM since 2005
Dan Doyen LM since 1999
Reynolds DuPont Jr. LM since 1993
Tawnya Eastman*
Chris Edwards LM since 2009
Donald Edwards LM since 1980
Jeffrey Edwards LM since 2011
Ken Edwards, Sr. LM since 1977
Ken Edwards Jr.LM since 2004
Richard Edwards LM since 2002
Ben Eggleton*
Richard Erpenbeck LM since 1973
William Faulkner LM since 1987
J. Gada Jr. LM since 1978
Carol Giles*
Paul Giles*
R. Grebe Jr.LM since 1982
Richard Hale LM since 2000

Dirk Harris*
Jay Hartsfield LM since 1975
Lawrence Horn LM since 1995
George Horning LM since 2001
Bruce Hubert LM since 2009
Michael Imbriglio*
Robert Johns LM since 1991
Alex Kardziyak*
John Kucsera*
Aaron Lusker*
Nate Malinowski*
Steve Malinowski LM since 2002
Sara McLean Ernie Middleton LM since 1984
Tim Patterson
Sara Rafferty Aaron Rice LM since 2013
Ed Riley LM since 2006
Ryan Rodd
Jill Rogan*
Joe Rogan LM since 1982
Bob Rogers*
Kandi Sanger LM since 1999
Penn Sanger* LM since 2014
Janio Spinola Charles Stepanek LM since 2002
Alan Thibodeau LM since 2005
Greg Thibodeau LM since 1999
Kapri Thomas
James Wall LM since 2000
Robert Wall LM since 1980
Art Walsh LM since 1995
Mary Walter LM since 2002
Steve Walter LM since 1999
Alex Williams*
Kathleen Zanghetti LM since 1997
Mario Zanghetti LM since 1975

The public is welcome at the monthly meetings of the Fishers Island Fire District. They begin at 5:00 pm and are held at the Firehouse unless otherwise posted. The 2015 meetings are scheduled on January 12, February 8, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 8, October 13, November 9, and December 7.

Fishers Island is not alone in facing the challenges of a declining volunteer base. This editorial in The Day points to these – while our Fishers Island Fire District has the added challenge of isolation with no mutual aid agreement.


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Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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