Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Town Councilmembers Michele Johnson, Lou Imbroto, and Tom Hand, along with Town Clerk Jim Altadonna, Jr. conducted a ceremonial street renaming dedication on Saturday, September 16th in honor of fallen Fire Department New York (FDNY) Firefighter William N. Tolley, who died in the line of duty on April 20th of this year from injuries he sustained while fighting a second-alarm fire in Ridgewood, Queens. The ceremony included a street sign unveiling at the corner of Crestline Avenue and Acme Avenue in Bethpage. Another sign will also be permanently displayed at the intersection of Stewart Avenue and Crestline Avenue. The signs are situated near the home where Firefighter Tolley lived and read “F.D.N.Y. Firefighter William N. Tolley Way.”
Firefighter Tolley grew up in Bethpage. Later in life, William purchased his house in his hometown with his wife, Marie, and his daughter, Isabella. William served as an FDNY firefighter with Ladder Company 135 and was a 14-year veteran of the department. He also served as a volunteer firefighter with the Hicksville Fire Department, having served during 9/11, and most recently with the Bethpage Fire Department. During his tenure with the FDNY, Firefighter Tolley quickly earned the respect of his colleagues for his dedication and care for his brothers and sisters in the fire service.
“Firefighter Tolley was loved and respected by his family, our residents and his brothers and sisters of the fire service,” said Supervisor Saladino said. “William is a true hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving and protecting his fellow citizens. This street, in the community where he resided, will serve as a reminder to all residents of his service and sacrifice for his fellow citizens.”
As a child, William always aspired to be a firefighter and he treated everyday with the FDNY as a blessing and a privilege. To those who had the pleasure to know William, it was no surprise that he was able to leave such an indelible mark, both socially and professionally. William had a unique ability to connect with people and felt a tremendous sense of duty as a firefighter to stand up for those in need. He excelled as a firefighter, a husband and father and even as a musician. There are many facets to William and his remarkable legacy will be long remembered.
“William cared about everyone he came in contact with,” Supervisor Saladino concluded. “This dedication ceremony symbolizes the Town of Oyster Bay’s appreciation for Firefighter Tolley’s commitment to our residents.”