February 20, 2019
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Halesite F.D. Celebrates 50 Years of Service by Two Members
By STEPHEN MEDICI
1st Responder Newspaper
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the
1st Responder newsroom.
Ex-Chief Frank Grasso
F. Rogers Ketcham (known as Roger)
Halesite, NY - Two members of the Halesite Fire Department will be honored in October as they each celebrate 50 years of distinguished service.
“We are honored to have not one, but two of our members celebrating their 50-year anniversary this year," said Chief Greg Colonna. "We are hosting a dinner in their honor on October 27th at our headquarters. This is a big deal. It doesn’t happen often.”
The two men, Ex-Chief Frank Grasso and F. Rogers Ketcham (known as Roger), both come from distinguished Halesite families with long histories of service dating back to the early twentieth century.
Frank Grasso joined the department in April of 1968. He served as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, and chief of the department for eight years in the 1980’s. He is a recipient of the department’s “bravery” award (he dove into Huntington Harbor to rescue a drowning man back in the late 80’s). He is a retired crane operator and is still an active member of the fire service; one of the few people qualified to drive all fire apparatus.
Roger Ketcham joined in October of 1968. His Halesite service was interrupted briefly by his service to the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Chief Colonna said, “Roger is still one of our most active firefighters and EMTs. He responds to over 200 calls a year. He’s been an officer of the department in one capacity or another for over 40 years." Roger also publishes the department’s annual newsletter to the community.
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