In Case of Emergency Dial
Joseph Pratt has been an active member of Engine Company#1 since 1980. During his 38 years of dedicated service he rose through the ranks of “The Pride of Mineola”. His leadership roles included election to company President from 1991-1993. He then advanced to serve as lieutenant before taking the helm as Captain from 2003 – 2007. Joe was elected by the department to serve as an Assistant Chief in 2007. He put in long hours learning the administrative responsibilities of the Chiefs office. He quickly found that a Chiefs role is not just to direct but rather to lead and motivate the firefighters that are at his command. These skills would prove pivotal during some of the challenges that he would soon face. From 2011 until 2013 Joseph Pratt would serve as Chief of the Mineola Fire Department.
As Chief of Department Joe felt the wrath of Mother Nature. In 2011 Hurricane Irene sideswiped the region with wind and rain. Chief Pratt coordinated the response to multiple calls for service during this event. Storm response became a regular event for Chief Pratt. A hail storm followed in 2012 as well as a Nor’easter and even an earthquake. However his greatest challenge came with Superstorm Sandy. Joe readied the troops in advance of the storm insuring the Department was prepared for the predicted impacts. During the height of the storm Chief Pratt insured that the residents received immediate response to emergencies while also providing shelter to those in need. In the coming days he recognized that while Mineola had weathered the storm with only moderate damage, many south shore communities were devastated. Joe organized standby crews to relieve the volunteers in these communities so that they could go home and tend to their own needs. Working with the Mineola Junior Fire Department, a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser was held and a crew even headed down to the Rockaways on Thanksgiving delivering meals to those in need.
While the fire service has always been his passion, it does not pay the bills. However Joe’s career path of civil service has also paralleled his MFD timeline. Joe worked in towing and recovery as a young man experiencing the aftermath of many traumatic wrecks. He would later work in Winthrop Hospital where he developed some of his administrative skills. Drawn to the public safety sector, Joe accepted a position as a Dispatcher in the Floral Park Police Department. Ultimately he found his calling as a Nassau County Deputy Sheriff.
Throughout his years in the Mineola Fire Department Chief Pratt has always been a family man. In addition to his 100+ “Kids” at Mineola FD he also was a father to Cory, Ryan, Rebecca, Michael and Donovan. Keeping him on track is his wife Annemarie who also serves as a member of the MFD Ladies Auxiliary.
Over the years, Ex-Chief Pratt has remained a committed member of the Mineola Fire Department. He continues to assist with the Departments Medical program and always insures that the members are protected with a Flu Shot. Joe also keeps a close eye on our Social Media and helps get the word whenever there is a training or special detail. Joe was selected by the Chiefs office to act as a Liaison to our Ladies Auxiliary insuring that they are informed and involved in department activities.
Chief Pratt is always willing to listen and offer advice. When he sees an issue brewing he is the first to pick up the phone and offer assistance. In the end Joe is a firefighter. Just last week he was spotted in full turnout gear at a working fire helping move ground ladders.
The Mineola Fire Department proudly presents Ex-Chief Joseph Pratt as our 2018 Recipient of the Town of Hempstead Firematic Service Award.”
Photos by Kevin Imm