Photo: Town of Islip

Town renames street for fallen firefighter

Islip Town officials joined family and friends of fallen FDNY firefighter Jesse Gerhard this week to rename a street in his honor.

South Bay Avenue, where Gerhard was raised, was renamed Firefighter Jesse Gerhard Way.

Gerhard, who joined the Islip Fire Department at age 20, served for more than 12 years and rose to the rank of lieutenant. In 2014, he joined the FDNY as an EMT and after graduating from the FDNY Fire Academy in 2018, Gerhard served as an FDNY firefighter in Far Rockaway.

In February, Gerhard died suddenly while on duty at Ladder 134, a day after battling a two-alarm fire. He was just 33 years old.

Gerhard’s parents, Lynn and Bruce Gerhard, his brother Casey, sister-in-law Kristi, fellow firefighters, FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, town officials and members of the community gathered to honor his life and legacy at a ceremony at the intersection of South Bay Avenue and Main Street.

“Jesse followed his heart and his dreams. His commitment to making the world a better place drove him forward, and he died doing what he loved,” Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said. “While we continue to grieve the loss of such an incredible young man, we remember the legacy he left behind, and cherish the memories that continue to keep his spirit alive.”

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