By Ron Jeffers
Great River, NY—The third annual super apparatus photo shoot at Hacksher State Park on June 11, assembled some 60 apparatus buffs to photograph antique and modern firefighting equipment in the park setting. Photographers that registered for the event came from as far as Canada, Minnesota, and Illinois.
Historian Tom Rinelli, a member of the Friends of Islip Fire Fighters, Inc., organized the shoot under his successful command structure. Many local firefighters, fire police, and friends assisted. There was a variety of firefighting equipment, such as a hand-drawn ladder to modern tower ladders. There was even a fire service bicycle!
About 50 pieces of fire apparatus were part of the event, which included privately owned and municipal vehicles. Participants had to preregister and, on the morning of the shoot, the photographers checked in at the command post. They received a wrist band to allow them to enter the area that was set aside for individual apparatus photography.
Fire apparatus reported to the command post as well and then lined up in two rows. Two rigs were called in at a time and positioned, in the sun, by designated photo coordinators. Then the photographers took turns walking between the two positioned apparatus to photograph them.
Again, Mother Nature cooperated with Rinelli, providing a blue sky plus a breeze. Before, during and after the shoot, refreshments were available. This was all done in cooperation with Rinelli's business, Fire & Rescue Equipment Sales. An additional host this year was the soon-to-open Islip Town Firefighter's Museum and Education Center, a project that Rinelli has been involved with for many years.
After the individual photos were obtained, the rigs were relocated to the opposite end of this section of the park for a group shot, taken by Rinelli from the bucket of a tower ladder. Drone photos were also secured.
The shoot started promptly at 9 am and was completed before noon. Apparatus that were photographed represented manufacturers from the past and present, including names like American LaFrance, American Fire Apparatus, Ahrens Fox, Buffalo, H&H Truck & Tank Co., Sanford, Southern Coach, and others.
Again, appreciation is extended to all of the fire companies and private apparatus owners for participating. Kudos to Tom Rinelli and the Long Island Fire Apparatus Photo Shoot Committee members, who made this event so successful.