Firefighters Get Help As First-Time Homeowners


Nassau County Firefighters Museum - Garden City, NY (file / credit: NCFM)

Firefighters are the ones who rush into burning buildings saving lives, pets and homes, contributing to our quality of life. Yet when it comes time for them to buy a home and raise a family in the very neighborhoods where they grew up, they are often shut out of the buying process because of the Island’s high taxes and the price of homes.
In an effort to stem the flow of talent and skills from Long Island, two Long Islanders with ties to the fire department decided to do something about it.

On March 25 at 7 p.m., at the Nassau County Firefighters (NCFF) Museum, James Cammarata, an attorney, volunteer firefighter, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and board member of the museum, along with Thomas Sullivan, CPA and manager of Evolve Bank and Trust, will provide firefighters with information and options about buying a first home on Long Island.
“The program is geared to first-time home buyers to try to help educate them on their options and to explain how the real estate transaction works,” said Sullivan. “This way we can take away some of the confusion and mystery of buying a home and also let them know about some of the special programs out there for first-time home buyers that may make a house more affordable, that they may not be aware of.”

Sullivan’s goal is to put people on a path to home ownership and show them creative ways they can afford it. Sullivan, whose dad was a firefighter, believes strongly in the museum and as a way to support it, will donate $500 to the NCFF Museum for each loan that is opened through Evolve Bank and Trust.
Cammarata, an Oyster Bay resident, discussed challenges facing young firefighters.

“Homeownership has become a real struggle for young people and it has hit the firefighter service hard,” said Cammarata. “We at the museum looked at introducing a program that could retain young people that are so vital to the firefighter service. The museum, which is involved in education and outreach programs, feels that this is an excellent way in helping support the firefighters achieve their dream of homeownership. We have lost a lot of jobs and young people off Long Island because of the high taxes. If, through this program, we can impact young people [by having them] stay in the community, then we have made a great achievement.”
Alana Petrocelli, executive director of the NCFF Museum, said she hopes the seminar helps firefighters who would like to buy a home here.

“We are excited to offer this free seminar in hopes of helping those firefighters struggling to say on Long Island,” she said. “The home buying process can be overwhelming and confusing and it is our hope that this seminar can simplify the process and make buyers aware of what offers are available to help them lower costs and stay on Long Island.”
To attend, RSVP to or call 516-572-4177. Seating is limited to 50.

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