It was a four-alarm gender reveal party for Southold Fire Department volunteers Dan and Kim Catapano — their fellow firefighters arranged to unveil the gender of the couple's baby with a stream of pink or blue water shot from a fire truck hose.
“We had two buckets, and we put pink dye in one bucket and a blue dye in the other bucket,” says firefighter Michael Goscinski. The firefighters practiced two days before the party to get the color right and to make sure they could get the water to flow from an inductor into the hose.
Only one firefighter knew the gender — the Catapanos had passed a sealed envelope from their doctor to firefighter Bill Byrnes. “I had the pleasure of holding the envelope,” Byrnes says.
On Sunday, April 14, the Catapanos jointly grasped a fire truck hose, and, in front of about 20 family members, friends and fellow firefighters, they witnessed the water shoot out pink. Kim Catapano, 28, says she was screaming when she saw the color: “I was just so excited to have a baby girl.”
Says Dan Catapano, also 28: “I can’t wait to have my toenails painted or have a tea party, whatever she wants to do.” Their daughter is due Aug. 25; she’ll be the couple’s first child.
The Catapanos met in college at SUNY Potsdam. Dan Catapano now works at his family’s Catapano Greenhouses in Southold. Kim is an elementary school orchestra teacher in Patchogue. Dan joined the fire department three years ago, and Kim followed two years ago. She is also an EMT. “We spend a huge amount of time at the fire house and going on calls,” Kim says. “We’ve made some incredible friends, they’re like our family.”
Firefighter Steve Gehreng suggested the reveal idea; other firefighters had seen photos of other departments doing similar reveals on social media. “The second it was an idea, everyone started running with it,” Dan says. “It was so nice.”