Upload Photo
Great Neck has the second-largest Persian population in
Caption / Share

Great Neck has the second-largest Persian population in the United States and the Vigilant Fire Department has taken notice. About 25 percent of its members, including 2nd Cpl. Aharon Benelyahoo, 22, speak Farsi and provide a comforting and familiar face to many immigrants in the tight-knit community. (May 10, 2011)(Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)

1 of 6

Share this photo

Great Neck Fire Dept.

The Great Neck Vigilant Engine and Hook & Ladder Co. looks like any other volunteer department. Freshly waxed red fire trucks shine in the firehouse garage. Rows of firefighting gear hang neatly inside. Stickers of storks carrying babies embellish the ambulances, marking the tally of onboard deliveries. But behind the traditional emergency response trappings is a force that reflects the changing community it serves: about 25 of the 100 volunteer members are Persians.