Fifth Street in East Meadow has been renamed for Joseph Hatzelman, a FDNY firefighter who died last year of a 9/11-related illness.
Hempstead Town officials joined members of Hatzelman’s family and the FDNY Ceremonial Unit for the renaming event, which was also attended by representatives of the East Meadow and North Bellmore fire departments and local friends and neighbors.
A lifelong resident of East Meadow, Hatzelman lived on Fifth Street for 30 years and was a firefighter with FDNY Engine Co. 218 in Bushwick, Brooklyn for just over 10 years. September 11, 2001 was Hatzelman’s day off, but he drove directly to the Ground Zero site, where he remained for one month straight to assist in the rescue and recovery effort.
Hatzelman’s family owned Meadow Dairy in East Meadow for many years. He has multiple family members serving in the North Bellmore and East Meadow fire departments, and a nephew in the Nassau County Police Department.
“Though nearly 20 years have passed since September 11, 2001, heroic first responders like Joseph Hatzelman continue to tragically lose their lives as a result of cancers and other illnesses from working at the contaminated Ground Zero site,” Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said. “In keeping with our Town of Hempstead mission to ‘Never Forget’ the heroes of September 11th, we are proud to rename Fifth Street in East Meadow as Firefighter Joseph A. Hatzelman Street.”