South Farmingdale Fire Chief Richard Tarello will receive the Fire Safety Educator of the Year award Thursday from the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.
Tarello, 56, is known in the community as “Firefighter Rick” for leading frequent programs — whether for preschoolers, seniors or civic groups — that dispense safety and prevention tips. A department volunteer since 1973, Tarello is a battalion chief with FDNY and a deputy chief instructor for the Nassau County Fire Service Academy.
“For over 25 years now, Chief Tarello has been considered a staple in his local community regarding fire prevention and fire safety education,” the state firemen’s association said in a statement. “Not only has he educated thousands of youngsters in the greater Farmingdale area, he has been responsible for coordinating and managing over a dozen fire prevention and fire safety programs serving four local elementary schools every fall.”
The programs are marked by children eagerly awaiting Tarello’s arrival via fire truck, and then, listening as the chief gets them to participate in such demonstrations as how to properly “stop, drop and roll,” and how to get out of bed while staying low to the ground.
Presentation of Tarello’s award will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the South Farmingdale Fire Department.