The Bethpage Fire Department was originally known as the Central Park Fire Department. It was organized in April 1910 under the name of Central Park Fire Company and was incorporated under that name in May 1911. In January 1924 it was reorganized as a department consisting of two companies, to be known as Company No. 1 and Company No. 2.
The original fire house stood on Stewart Avenue at the corner of Baldwin Place. The local firemen used a hand-drawn chemical reactor which was sometimes hitched to Mr. Gutenburger’s horse and wagon. By 1915, William Burnham’s automobile had been commandeered to tow the apparatus. In 1923 the department had it’s first motorized truck.
To call for help the residents of Bethpage would telephone Dr. Louis A. Luttge at his home on Broadway. When he received the fire call he would sound the alarm atop the firehouse by an attachment on his telephone. Firemen would then telephone the doctor to learn where the fire was.
In l949, BFD Headquarters was built on Broadway. The building included a meeting hall, a wing for the library, an office for the water district as well as a garage to house the trucks and equipment. Substations were built in l956. The land for the northern station located on Stewart Avenue opposite Farmers Avenue was donated by Grumman Corporation, and the fire department purchased the land on Union Avenue for the southern station.
On August 5, 1941 a group of ladies, whose husbands or brothers were member of the Bethpage Fire Department met at the original Fire House on Stewart Avenue (opp. Kearney Avenue) and formed a Ladies Auxiliary to the Bethpage Fire Department. There were 34 charter members. The first officers were President Mae Benkert, Vice President Rose Seitz, Secretary Marita Looney, and Treasurer Lillian Keuchler.
According to Evelyn Auer, the first fund raising activity was a card party, held at the Firehouse which raised $125.00. In l942 the “Comfort Committee” was organized to raise money to help the servicemen of World War II from Bethpage. Various items including candy, cigarettes, books, and cookies were regularly sent to our boys in service. Their first annual dinner was held August 8, 1942 at the Colonial Inn (Broadway opp. stores, south of RR) at a cost of 75 cents each.
The Bethpage Fire Department received 600 calls in 1958 and 2,000 in 2005. In 1958 the Bethpage Fire Department consisted of 6,700 homes and in l999 over 7,800 homes. The district consists of a 7.8 square mile area.