There’s a first for everything, but this one has been long overdue. For the first time in Patchogue Fire Department’s over 100 years, Class A firefighter Morgan Poulos Keating made history as the department’s first woman officer.
Her grandfather was a Vanguard in the Patchogue Fire Department and her uncle, John Poulos, was a member of the Euclid Hose Company and also an FDNY firefighter. He lost his life due to complications associated with his service during 9/11 last year.
“I used to play with my uncle’s turnout gear when I was a kid and just thought it was the coolest job,” Poulos Keating said. “After college, I stayed in Patchogue and decided to join.”
Now 31, she joined the department at 24, making her way up from probie to firefighter, and now elected first lieutenant of the Euclid Company. Her goal, however, was not to be elected, but rather, she said, it was her responsibility to do so in service of her company.
“It was my responsibly to step up and be a leader like the guys in the company have done before,” she said, noting the officers help keep the department alive. “It’s a job, and I will think of it as an accomplishment when I do my job well.”
As first lieutenant, her role is to organize company training and get members excited about it. Personally, she attends most of the company’s trainings and a number of county training programs as well.
“Morgan joined in May 2014; she has been in Hose Company ever since. She is also the chairperson for The Running Dead 5K fundraiser they do every year,” said chief of the department Dave Tierney of her accomplishments. “We look forward to having her as an officer and wish her success.”
“Morgan’s uncle John Poulos was an ex-captain in our company; he would have been proud of the accomplishment she has made,” added deputy chief Frank Densing.
Her mother, Diane Poulos, retired Bellport High School teacher, is proud of her. Both of her parents grew up in Patchogue; her father passed away.
As a Class A firefighter, she fights fires from the interior, and just recently became a driver for the engine. Under her, and younger than her, there are two more female Class A firefighters. She also proudly is a member of the newly revived Forty Thieves Drill Team.
“It’s one of my favorite things about the department,” she said of the drill team.
She graduated from Patchogue-Medford High School in 2008, went to SUNY Cortland for a year, and finished her undergrad at New York Maritime, becoming a mechanical engineer. She lives in Patchogue and recently purchased a home on Jennings Avenue, just a few steps from the fire department’s headquarters.
“I love Patchogue. I think that Patchogue has the best things around to offer,” she said of her hometown. “It feels like home and has been home for my family for a very long time.”
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