The chiefs, Board of Fire Commissioners, officers and members of Ladder 2 and the entire Wantagh Fire Department mourned the unexpected passing of ex-Captain James Vinson, Badge 1644 on July 5, 2022. He was 44-years old.

James joined the Wantagh Fire Department on September 25, 1996, and was assigned to Engine 7. He quickly was accepted and found to be an eager firefighter. In April 2004 he transferred to Ladder 2 and began the transition from an engine company to a ladder company. On January 1, 2012 he was sworn in as Lieutenant and served for two years before being elected Captain of Ladder 2 for three years in 2017. During his time with the department, he served on many committees and was an EMT and Safety Officer. He received several awards including a Lifesaving Award and Chiefs Awards. Several years ago, he was asked to be a Department Secretary and tasked with the important job of coordinating and registering members for training opportunities 

After learning of James’ passing, many of his friends gathered at Station 2 and shared many stories about him. He was repeatedly described as a great friend, a selfless individual, respectful and genuine. He was a dedicated and valued member as well as a mentor to the younger members as they joined and assimilated into the department and he will truly be missed.

A wake and department services were held at the Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Home in Wantagh on July 7 and a Funeral Mass was held at Maria Regina RC Church in Seaford on July 8. Interment was at St Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. James is survived by his mother, Ellen; sister, Jackie and her sons, Christopher, Charles and Colin.

A funeral arch was set up the morning of the funeral in front of Station 2 by the Seaford and Levittown Fire Departments in honor of James.

 – Fire News photos by Harry Loud; story by Kevin Regan, PIO