Fire Fighter Spotlight - Laurin Long
Posted April 13, 2023
Laurin Long is an integral fixture at Montgomery Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 (Fire 46) in Blawenburg, where he serves as a fire police captain and first vice president. He is a top responder, meaning he is one of the squad members who respond to the most calls. His unit has seven volunteers, who respond to almost 100 percent of Fire 46’s calls.
“I find membership in Fire Company 2 to be fulfilling and an opportunity to be truly engaged in the community,” he says. “I urge those curious to find out more and see if it is the right fit for them.”
Long has lived in Montgomery for 47 years. During his long years of commuting to New York City, he could not fathom joining most local activities. When he retired, he says he searched for the right way to get involved and give back to Montgomery. In 2010, two neighbors —Eric Perkins and Al Bien — told Long how a retired person could become an essential part of the local fire company. Long was surprised to learn that both Montgomery fire stations are 100 percent volunteer, and that a retiree with no firefighting training could become an active member.
At his first meeting, Long said he felt welcomed. He learned that fire police respond as firefighters do, but control automobile and pedestrian traffic at emergency scenes so that firefighters, police, and the EMS can do their work more safely. This role required two days of initial training and a background check. Add gear and a blue light permit and Long was ready to respond as a rookie under the leadership of then Fire Police Captain Claude Lewis.
The fire police recently put a van into service. It has reflectors, emergency lighting, and is loaded with emergency scene traffic management equipment. The van also serves as a traffic blocker to protect the fire trucks, hoses, and responders. As a self-taught “fix-it person,” Long found another niche at the fire station by taking on facilities management duties. This position is rewarding with visible results, especially when members pitch-in at monthly work sessions. Long says he is proud of how members work together to pressure wash floors, replace electrical fixtures, repair plumbing fixtures, and do safety checks. He also serves on the technology committee, where he uses skills he picked up while working at AT&T and Lucent.
Article continues after ad from our sponsor:
Long keeps morale high between calls. Off-duty members join him in his Annual Maple Sap Boil-Down to create syrup in his backyard, using his special wood-fired boiler. Afterwards, pancakes, sausages, and syrup are enjoyed by all. Bottles of specially-labeled “46 Fire Company Pure NJ Maple Syrup” (not for sale) are gifted to those who help. Hanging out with friends in the steamy open air ‘sugar shack’ on a frosty winter day is fun.