Former Oceanside fire chief appointed to state taskforce

Mike Smollins for LI Herald

May 13, 2021

Originally published in Long Island Herald on May 13, 2021.

Former Oceanside Fire Chief Kevin Klein was recently appointed to the New York State Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Task Force.

The panel will be tasked with providing policy recommendations to state officials on ways to bolster the recruitment and retention of volunteer first responders statewide.

“I am humbled to have been selected to serve on the New York State Volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention task force,” Klein said, according to a news release. “As a former chief of the Oceanside Fire Department, I am acutely aware of the challenges faced by our volunteer fire departments to recruit new members and keep our existing members. I am anxious to get to work and help make a positive impact statewide.”

Klein joined the OFD in 1993 while attending Oceanside High School. For nearly 28 years, he volunteered at the Terrace Hose Company No. 3 on Columbus Avenue. In 2010, Klein became the third assistant chief, and in 2013, he was elected chief and served in the chief’s line for a decade.

Klein comes from a family of firefighters. His father, former Chief Steven Klein, is a 53-year member of the OFD and recently served as president of the Firemen’s Association of New York. Now, Kevin Klein’s son, Christopher Klein, is following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps as a volunteer firefighter at the Terrace Hose Company No. 3. 

Kevin Klein was appointed to the NYS taskforce by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, and said he was grateful for the support. Kaminsky said volunteer fire departments are vital to local communities.

“Volunteer firefighters save lives every day across our state, and ensuring their ranks are filled is critical for our community,” he said, according to a news release. “Chief Klein has dedicated his career to helping Long Islanders through leading the Oceanside Fire Department with distinction. I am confident his insight and decades of experience will play a pivotal role in helping us craft policies to strengthen the fire service across our state.”