The North Merrick Fire Department ex-Chief and Commissioner Joseph Vicario passed away on December 4, 2020, following a brave and courageous battle with a 9/11 related cancer.

Commissioner Vicario, or ‘Joe V’ as he was known to many, served as North Merrick Chief of Department in 2007 and 2008 and had been a Fire Commissioner since 2013. During his 25 years with the department, Joe inspired and mentored countless individuals on how to become better firefighters. An avid fan of the North Merrick Stump Jumpers Drill Team he was a fixture on the sidelines at tournaments throughout the season.

Visitation was held at North Merrick Fire Headquarters on December 6 and 7. The firematic service was held on the night of December 7, and a funeral mass on December 8 at Sacred Heart Church in North Merrick.

He is survived by his wife (Cathy Vicario), his children Kaitlin and Anthony, and the many family and friends who knew and loved him.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joseph’s name to the Ray Pfeifer Foundation (

– Fire News photos by