"One of the great parts of my statewide tour is being able to visit people who work hard every day to make their communities a better place to live," Speaker Heastie said. "It was great visiting the Rockville Centre Fire Department and Operation S.P.L.A.S.H. and hearing first-hand how the Assembly Majority can support those who are supporting their friends, neighbors and environment."
"It was great to have Speaker Heastie with us today in Nassau County," Assemblymember Griffin said. "I am so proud of the way our community supports each other, from the Rockville Centre Fire Department volunteers who work so hard to keep our communities safe, to Operation S.P.L.A.S.H., who are dedicated to keeping our beaches and waterways clean of pollution."
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Griffin were joined by Operation S.P.L.A.S.H. President of Operation Rob Weltner, as well as volunteers for a tour of the nonprofit. Since the organization's founding in 1990, volunteers have pulled more than 2 million pounds of pollution and navigational hazards from bays, beaches and waterways, and have worked to install more than 4,000 storm drain inserts to help prevent pollution in the first place.
The Rockville Centre Fire Department is the largest volunteer fire department in New York State with 330 members, and responded to 3,400 calls in 2018. Unfortunately, the department has had to deal with mold, electrical and plumbing problems, and leaky pipes and roofs in their facilities. On the tour of the fire house, Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Griffin were joined by Chief Eric G. Burel, former-Chief Brian Cook, First Assistant Chief James Avondet and Second Assistant Chief Scott Mohr, and discussed how the Assembly Majority can help support the Rockville Centre Fire Department and volunteer fire departments like it around the state.
In between visits, Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Griffin had lunch at Otto's Sea Grill, the oldest restaurant on the Freeport Nautical Mile. The restaurant, established in 1929 by Helen and Otto Koglin, is still run by their family, and was rebuilt after the dining room and kitchen were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.