On Wednesday October 22, The Mineola Fire Department family came together to honor one of their own, Ex-Chief Walter V. Crosby. Chief Crosby was selected as the 2008 recipient of the Town of Hempstead Firematic Award. Mineola Firefighters joined Walter’s family at the Hempstead Town Hall where the honor was bestowed upon him.
Ex-Chief Crosby has been an active member of Truck Company 2 since December of 1960. During his 47 years of dedicated service he rose through the ranks of “The Workhorse Company” serving as lieutenant for four years before taking the helm as Captain from 1970 – 1972. When his term of office ended, Walter continued to serve in the Mineola Fire Department while pursuing his career in law enforcement and raising his family. In 1981, Walter was elected to serve as an Assistant Chief. He diligently carried out his duties and continually earned the respect of his peers. His positive attributes resulted in his election to the position of Chief of Department which he held from 1985 until 1987.
While the Fire service was his passion, Walter also excelled in his chosen profession, Law Enforcement. With over 20 years of service in the New York City Police Department, Walter retired as a decorated Detective in the Brooklyn Homicide Bureau. Chief Crosby went on to continue his crime fighting serving as the Chief investigator for NYS Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Unit. Walt was a “no nonsense boss” who often accompanied his investigators on warrant executions and raids. Based out of Manhattan, Chief Crosby was a survivor in the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks and he put his Firematic training to use during the massive rescue efforts that day.
Throughout his years in the Mineola Fire Department Chief Crosby has always remained dedicated to his family. Walter and his wife Grace have four children, Jeanne, Michael, Thomas and Chris. They also have three beautiful Granddaughters, Lauren, Amanda and Michaela. This “Experience” has also made Walter a perfect fit for the role of Santa Claus during Fire Department Christmas parties.
Over the years, Ex-Chief Crosby’s leadership has been crucial to the Mineola Fire Department. During his term as Chief, he implemented the Department newsletter to increase information sharing with the membership. Walter was also cognizant of the contribution that former officers made to the Department. He valued their knowledge and experience and lobbied successfully to gain uniform recognition for these members. He pushed for innovation within the fire service and has been an advocate for firefighter safety. When his term in the Chiefs office was complete, Walter continued to serve as a Safety Officer, assisting the successive chiefs at fire scenes and training evolutions. In 1997 Walter was recognized for his contributions when he was bestowed with the Mineola Fire Department Fireman of the year award.
His dedication to the fire department only serves as the outward expression of his love and outstanding service towards the community. Through established fire prevention programs for children and senior citizens and his work in providing new, modern fire equipment and apparatus for his firefighters he has demonstrated his concerns for the health and safety of the Department and the community. Ex-Chief Crosby is a perfect example of a hard working, dedicated and compassionate leader and is a role model for today’s volunteer fire service.
The Mineola Fire Department proudly presents Ex-Chief Walter V. Crosby, our 2008 Recipient of the Town of Hempstead Firematic Service Award.