On May 14, 2019, firefighter and Fire News Editor Dennis Whittam, was honored by the Suffolk County Legislature for his dedication to the fire and emergency services of Long Island.
A lifetime supporter of the fire service, Dennis’ passion for the fire service started in the late 1950s as he chased after his dad, who was a member of the FDNY assigned to Engine Company 233 and later, Engine 291.
One would have thought that Dennis would have joined the FDNY, but his career path took him in to teaching and he became a teacher in Lynbrook, NY. Throughout his career as an educator, Dennis’ passion for the fire-rescue and emergency services continued to grow. Moving to Suffolk County in the mid 80s, it didn’t take long for Dennis to become a member of the Terryville Fire Department in Port Jefferson Station.
After serving as Captain, Dennis pursued his passion to promote firefighters. What better way to do this than to make sure every edition of Fire News had photos in it that were taken by ex-Captain Whittam? Dennis was soon seen with his camera at firematic events throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties, and New York City. Thanks to Fire News Publisher Frank Trotta and Executive Editor Tim Edwards, Dennis was promoted to Editor. Now with a newspaper that has served firefighters since 1973 behind him, Dennis and Fire News, with an army of talented photographers and advertisers behind them, were able to make sure that the fire-rescue and emergency services was represented in a positive way.
If you speak with Dennis, it doesn’t take long before you realize that his goal of honoring the service of all responders through professional photographs continues to be strong. He is still a volunteer, as a Safety Officer for the Terryville Fire Department, and still manages to attend events that are held to honor all firefighters.
Dennis would like to thank Suffolk County Legislators Rudy Sunderman of the Third Legislative District, Kara Hahn of the Fifth Legislative District, and Tom Donnelly of the Seventeenth Legislative District, for honoring him for his dedication and service to the Suffolk County Fire-Rescue and Emergency services, the Terryville Fire Department, the Vocational Educational and Extension Board, the FDNY and Fire News.
-Fire News photos by Ron Monteleone