The Melville Fire Department mourned the loss of ex-Assistant Chief Jeffrey Nirenberg, 66, who answered his last alarm on October 5, 2020, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Jeff was a 47-year active member who joined the department in 1973, assigned Badge 236. He served as Company One Lieutenant and Captain, and was then elected to the Chief’s office where he served five years in the Assistant Chief ranks in the 1980s. He also served a term as department President, and was a benevolent Trustee and Secretary.

Jeff was a Chauffer Trainer for over 30 years and taught many members how to safely operate all of the department’s apparatus. He also served as an EMT and AEMT for many years on the Rescue Squad. Jeff was the lead Safety Officer (SO1) since the department created the position in the early 2000s. He was also an active member of the Town of Huntington Chiefs Council and the Safety Officers Association.

Jeff was interested in preserving the history of the department, and spearheaded the design, construction and content of the impressive Department Museum at headquarters. In 2017, he was presented with both the Company One Member of the Year Award and Estee Lauder Humanitarian Award for his dedicated service to the department and community.

If you didn’t know Jeff personally, you certainly recognized his familiar and calming voice for 37 years on the radio at Suffolk County FRES, from which he retired in 2015 as a Supervisor in the Communications Bureau.

Jeff was predeceased by his loving wife Melody in 2016. He is survived by his daughter Nicole and son Joshua, who followed in his dad’s footsteps as a member of the Melville Fire Department. Following a procession past headquarters, the funeral service was held at the Huntington Jewish Center Cemetery in Dix Hills on October 7, 2020.

– Fire News story and photos by Steve Silverman