It is with deep regret the Northport Fire Department announces and mourns the death of 43-year member ex-Captain James Michael Mahoney of the Hook and Ladder Company Number One.
Jim joined the Northport Fire Department July 1973. He was a member of the Hook and Ladder company and Rescue Squad; three-time captain of the Rescue Squad; chairman of the fire prevention education program; lead instructor for the Northport Fire Department babysitting program; public information officer; author of the Safety News, which appeared monthly in the Northport Observer; chairman of the 100th and 125th Northport Fire Department anniversary committee; three- times Northport Fire Department Firefighter of the Year and Rescue Squad Man of the Year; Hook and Ladder Company Firefighter of the Year; Fireman’s Association of the State of New York Firefighter of the Year; National Volunteer Fireman’s Association Firefighter of the Year; and Kiwanis Club Firefighter of the Year.
Three years ago the Northport Board of Fire Commissioner’s instituted the Ex-Captain James Mahoney Award. The award goes to a member of Northport Fire Department who exhibits the qualities of ex-Captain Mahoney. The recipient receives a silver Benjamin Franklin coin for their dedication to the volunteer fire service as well as displaying selfless acts of benevolence towards the community. Jim was the first recipient of this award.
Jim also received the Northport Fire Department Scoop and Run award for 15 consecutive years for making more than 100 volunteer ambulance calls.
He was a longtime member of the Suffolk County Firefighters’ Burn Center Fund, and had served as a Board Member and past-President of the Burn Center. Jim, and his late wife Sophie, raised more than $150,000 for the Burn Center through an Annual Doll and Teddy Bear Show directed by Sophie.
Additional awards include: Shaefer Fireman of the Year (1977); Scott Health and Safety Firefighter of the Year (2002); Inducted into New York State’s Veteran’s Hall of Fame (2005); Suffolk County Firefighters’ Burn Center Robert Lyon Award for Distinguished Service (2013); and the Suffolk County Firefighters’ Emerald Society Harold Lally Lifetime Achievement Award (2016).
In an address to the Senate, New York State Senator John Flanagan stated, “… Jim Mahoney has demonstrated the brilliance of his individual performance, leadership and dedication to his department, his village, this state and this country…”
Jim was always an extremely active member of the Northport Fire Department Rescue Squad. He was a New York State Emergency Medical Technician helping to save lives in the community for more than 40 years. He was always a great friend and mentor to all members of the fire department and will be deeply missed.
He was predeceased by his wife Sophie. He is survived by his children Luke Timothy (Peter), Kevin (Debbie), Kathleen Fristensky (Brad) and Maureen Kiefaber (Henry). And by his adoring grandchildren Kelly, Kristen, Jake, Jeremy and David.
In Jim’s memory donations to the Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center Fund, Inc., PO Box 765, Smithtown, NY 11787, or VNS Hospice of Suffolk, 505 Main Street, Northport, NY 11768, would be appreciated.
– Fire News photos by John Mancino