How about a visit from Santa?

Continuing the tradition this December, The Great River Fire Department will be escorting Santa around the neighborhood in his Hess Truck!

Santa Claus and his elves will be doing two things this year:

  1. Delivering candy canes to the children of the community and,
  2. Delivering presents to your homes.


If you would like Santa Claus and his elves to visit your home prior to Christmas please contact Chief DiGiovanna at: or 631-277-3930.


Santa Runs are scheduled for:

  • Sunday, December 15, 2013
  • Saturday, December 21, 2013
  • Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Runs start at approximately 5:30 PM.


If you would also like Santa to bring presents to your loved ones, you will need to make arrangements to bring the wrapped gifts to the Great River Fire House prior to the Santa Run.

The Hess Truck’s Back!

Each year fire departments from the Town of Islip come together at the Bohemia Christmas Parade. Traditionally, participating departments construct a float or decorate a piece of apparatus.

This year, the Great River Fire Department recreated the 1989 Hess fire truck. The members worked daily for three weeks to recreate every detail of the Hess truck on Engine 3-9-6 our 1988 Spartan/FMC pumper. That’s right, the fire engine was transformed into a ladder truck!

Through the donations of member’s time and materials the Great River Fire Department was able to create an awe inspiring pice of holiday cheer!

Since the fire engine was white to begin with, the members focused on the most labor intensive part of the project: the iconic red ladder.

The ladder is 24 feet long and is constructed almost entirely out of wood 2×3 and 2×4 planks. It comes complete with PVC pistons and is able to be raised almost four feet above the cab.

Additional details include red accents on the wheels, custom cut and color matched aluminum panels to hold the Hess logos as well as green accent lighting.

Although the fire-engine-turned-Hess-truck was not awarded a trophy in the parade, it was one of the most liked floats by the parade-goers. Many people stated that they thought the ladder was a real piece of the truck! This is a testament to the fine craftsmanship done by the members of the Great River Fire Department.

The Hess truck will be used throughout December to transport Santa around Great River to deliver presents and spread Christmas cheer. If you would like to have Santa deliver presents to your Christmas party please email for more information.

1st Annual Brush Truck Competition

The Great River Fire Department participated in the 1st Annual Brush Truck Competition on September 14th at Firemen’s Park, Ridge. Learn more here: 

From the Brush Truck Competition Facebook Page:

The Brush Truck Competition is an event conducted by the Patchogue Fire Department, established for the purpose of improving Wildfire response, tactics, training, and interoperability amongst emergency agencies throughout Long Island.

Members of your Great River Fire Department worked hard to prep Brush Truck 3-9-5, a 1953 M35A2 by thoroughly degreasing and cleaning the body, chassis and engine compartment. The members worked to organize and mount brush fire tools and equipment for the most efficient use of the space in the apparatus. A number of repairs and enhancements were also performed. Brush Truck 3-9-5 has been called into service during major events such as the Sunrise Fire of 1995, the Brookhaven Blaze of 2012, the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center brush fire in 2010, the Brentwood mulch fire in 2013 among others. This is in addition to local service protecting Great River and Heckscher State Park.

The members of the Great River Fire Department competed strongly. They learned valuable brush fire skills,  the capabilities of 3-9-5 and their equipment and most importantly about teamwork.

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