The Syosset Fire Department (SFD) recently honored Ex-Captain James Manfredonia of Engine Company 5 for 40 years of dedicated service to the Syosset-Woodbury community.
Jim and his wife Arlene settled down in a house on Arbor Road in Syosset in the late 1960s, where they would raise their four children Doreen, Nancy, Robert and Craig. Jim spent 35 years driving a truck as a proud member of the Teamsters, and Arlene would work for many years for Nassau County handling billing for the Health Department.
Jim quickly became friendly with his neighbor across the street, Ex-Chief Richard Meinhardt, who at that time was a fireman in Engine Company 5 of the SFD. Meinhardt encouraged Jim to join the SFD and eventually he did, being sworn in on Dec. 1, 1976. Days later, while attending his first SFD Christmas party at the firehouse, an alarm came in for a house fire—Jim’s first Signal 10 (working fire) just after joining the department.
Over his four decades in the SFD, Jim has gone to many fires. The most memorable ones were the second Woodbury Commons fire, the multiple fires at Hidden Ridge and a fire in the trailer park. Jim also had the privilege of fighting a fire with his son Robert at Superior Rent All in the early 2000s. Jim also responsed to the crash of Avianca Flight 52 in Cove Neck.
He served Engine Company 5 as second lieutenant, first lieutenant and eventually as captain from 1994 to 1996. Later, Jim joined the Fire Police and is now a fixture in helping direct traffic at various fire department events in town.
Jim and Arlene are proud of their four children and five wonderful grandchildren, Timothy, Christian, Nicholas, Victoria and Zachary. Jim’s sons Robert and Craig are both firefighters in Brooklyn with the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).
—Syosset Fire Department