Jamesport Fire Department has a new chief for the new year. Gary Faucon succeeded John Andrejack Sr. as chief of the department Jan. 1.
And Faucon, 64, a 10-year JFD veteran, had a very busy first week at the helm.
In his first week as chief, the department responded to a serious motor vehicle accident, a ceiling collapse in a house on Smugglers Path, a blizzard, multiple EMS calls and a vehicle fire.
“That’s probably the busiest first week for any chief anyone can remember,” said now ex-chief Andrejack.
Faucon served as first assistant chief under Andrejack. “I might hold the record for most interesting first week, that’s for sure,” he said.
He served as a deputy sheriff in Suffolk County, attainting the rank of sergeant before retiring in 2001. He then went back to college and became a registered nurse.
“My wife has been an ER nurse for 36 years,” Faucon said. “I was always interested in trauma care,” he said. But he didn’t pursue a nursing because it was a career that wasn’t encouraged for men, he said.
Now, Faucon works as a group home nurse for Maryhaven Center of Hope.
“I finally found out what I’m supposed to be doing when I grow up,” Faucon said.
Faucon, who grew up in Southold and served in the Southold Fire Department for a time in the 1970s. Like many vollies, he’s got the fire service in his blood.
“At one time, my grandfather, my father my three younger brothers and I were all members of the Southold Fire Department,” he said.
His mother’s family is from Jamesport, where his great-grandfather, a freight agent for the LIRR, “was one of the movers and shakers behind forming the Jamesport Fire Department,” he said.
“It’s challenging an interesting work,” Faucon said.
“You join to serve the public,” he said. “I love the intellectual challenge of it, too, which is something people may not think about when they think of being a volunteer firefighter. Every call is a different challenge. There’s always something new to learn. There’s no such thing as a routine call — every call is different,” Faucon said.
“You always need to be thinking. The size-up starts when the pager goes off.”
Faucon said he also enjoys the company of other firefighters. “There’s a real camaraderie,” he said.
Ex-chief John Andrejack agreed. “Working with your fellow firefighters, the people who volunteer to take on this job to go out and help the community was a great experience,” Andrejack said.
“It was a very rewarding,” he said of his six years as a chief — two years as second assistant, two years as first assistant and the final two years as chief.
During his tenure, the department battled structure fires in the district, including one at Maidstone Landing, and answered calls for mutual aid to other districts, including the Manorville wild fire and the blaze that destroyed the pavilion at Cupsogue beach.
“Serving the community that you actually live in is a very rewarding experience — to be able to help the people in your own community,” said Andrejack, who holds a a bachelor’s degree in emergency management. “To be able to apply my education and experience at home in my own community, for my neighbors, is special.”
Also special for Andrejack, he said, is having his two sons, John Jr. and Mark, join the Jamesport Fire Department. “Having them by my side on calls is something I’ll always cherish.”
Andrejack, a former Jamesport Fire District commissioner, said he will remain an active volunteer.
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