Two running to fill RVCFD chief seats


On Thursday, April 4, the members of the Rockville Centre Fire Department will go to the polls to elect a slate of Chief officers to lead the department for the next two years.

Preparing to take the reins from Chief John H. Busching is First Assistant Chief John S. Thorp III. Thorp is a lifelong resident of Rockville Centre. From their Rockville Avenue home, he and his wife Cindi have raised their four children: Kenneth, Colleen, Kevin and Jack. Thorp retired from Verizon after 30 years of service and is currently employed by the Village of Rockville Centre as the Deputy Superintendent of Public Works.

Thorp has been a member of Eureka Hook Ladder and Bucket Company No. 1 of the Rockville Centre Fire Department for 38t years. As a member of Eureka, he has served on numerous company and department committees as Eureka’s Warden to the Fire Council, and as a line officer for 15 years prior to his election to the Chief’s Office in 2009.

Also moving up in the Chief’s line is current Second Assistant Chief Robert J. Seaman. Seaman, a 24-year member of Live Oak Engine Company No. 1, will be assuming the duties of First Assistant Chief. Seaman has been involved in many of the facets of the Rockville Centre Fire Department, on both the company and department levels. He served as a line officer in Live Oak and as Chief Fire Inspector for eight years prior to his election as Second Assistant Chief in 2011. Seaman is employed by P.C. Richard Inc. and is the General Manager of the Rockville Centre store on Sunrise Highway. He and his wife Lauren are residents of South Park Ave.

The members of the Rockville Centre Fire Department are very fortunate to have two especially qualified and dedicated men vying for the position of Second Assistant Chief.

The first candidate for the office of Second Assistant Chief is Ex-Captain Brian Cook of Reliance Hose Company No. 3. A 24-year member of Reliance, Cook has been very active on company and department committees and is a past Chairman of the department’s Board of Instruction. A former line officer, he is also an Emergency Medical Technician and a past recipient of both the Town of Hempstead and Lynbrook Elks Firematic Service Awards for two different rescues, one in 2000 and another in 2005. Cook is a lifelong resident of Rockville Centre, where he and his wife Stefanie are raising their two children. When Cook's father Tom, an Honorary Chief from Reliance, recently swore Brian’s son Johnny into the Rockville Centre Junior Fire Department, it brought three generations of their family into the department’s ranks.

The second candidate for the office of Second Assistant Chief is Ex-Captain Eric Burel of Woodland Engine Company No. 4. Burel and his wife Donna, residents of Rockville Centre since 1998, have one son who attends Kellenberg High School. Burel has dedicated his life to the fire service, having been a member, and served as a line officer, in both the Malverne and Freeport Fire Departments prior to moving to Rockville Centre. Professionally, Burel is the Superintendent of the Plainview Fire District. In his position, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the fire district. He also prepares and oversees a $13 million budget and coordinates all district construction projects.