Riverhead Fire Department Headquarters. Photo: Peter Blasl

To The Editor: 

My name is Timothy Murphy and I am running for a seat on the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Riverhead Fire District. There are two vacant spots on the Board that will be on this year’s ballot. I am running to complete Commissioner William Kelly’s term, which has three remaining years. Commissioner Kelly unfortunately passed away earlier this year. The vote will be held on December 12, 2023 from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Riverhead Fire Department Headquarters, located at 540 Roanoke Ave, Riverhead.
I believe I am uniquely qualified to serve my community in this capacity. I have dedicated my life to the fire service and have held various positions across multiple agencies for over 35 years, including the Riverhead Fire Department, where I am a proud member of the Ever-Ready Engine Co. No. 3, I serve as a department safety officer, a member of the training committee and a member of the Fire Prevention Committee. Recently, as part of my time on the training committee, I took the lead on firefighting procedures and equipment for the new low rise residential building standpipe operations, which will aid the department in responding to emergencies at the new builds on Main Street. As a member of the fire prevention committee, I help to educate students in grades K through 4 on fire safety. This fall alone, we gave demonstrations to 2,000 students in the Riverhead Central School District. 

I served as a lieutenant in the FDNY for 20 years, where I was primarily stationed in an engine company is Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. I also was a firefighter in special operations for 10 years, where I responded city-wide to technical rescue emergencies. I served as assistant chief of the New York State Air National Guard for 25 years. During this time, I served in Iraq, managing a 30-person fire department at an active airfield that was the lifeline for eight outlying forward operating bases. Here, I was responsible for operations, fire prevention and training. Finally, I was a deputy chief instructor at the Suffolk County Fire Academy for 20 years. Along with teaching various courses to fire departments across Suffolk County, I rewrote the Engine and Pump Operations courses and was lead Instructor for numerous Technical Rescue courses. 

This town is changing. New projects are constantly being proposed and subsequently approved. I believe that we need to take a proactive approach to ensure the Riverhead Fire Department is both equipped and trained to handle future fires and emergencies so that we can continue to answer the call when you need us the most. 

In closing, it would be an honor to continue to serve my community in a new capacity. I am confident I can make a positive difference for the Riverhead Fire District and department serving in the role of fire commissioner and I humbly ask for your support on Dec. 12. Thank you for your consideration. 


Timothy Murphy

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