“When 289 first opened its doors, it was a physical symbol that the New York City Fire Department would protect this neighborhood every day, no matter what,” said FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano. “Every year, every day, you go out these doors when someone needs help, and that’s what this job is all about.”
During his remarks, Cassano noted the September 11th Memorial for two members of EC289 who were lost on that day.
“When the bell rings, they go; when someone calls, they go,” he said. “That’s what separates us from every other agency.”
Chief Edward Kilduff noted the rapid growth of the area the firehouse serves, and the conversions of one-family homes into two- and three-family homes as unique challenges to the present-day firehouse.
“There are probably no more dynamic neighborhoods in the city than Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights,” said Kilduff. “With all of the changes brings challenges with it. 289 not only gets out the door for the fires, but all emergencies.”
Currently, there are seven firefighters with 20 or more years of experience at EC289.
“This is a great place to be a firefighter,” said Battalion Chief James Golez, a former captain of EC289. “After a tour here, two things are guaranteed: you’ll be tired and you’ll feel fulfilled.”