Whether serving as a firefighter, EMT, or fire chief, Ross Huffer responded to Nesconset residents’ assistance any time of the day or night, willing and eager to help at a moment’s notice. A second thought was never given. For the past 48 years, it was just in his blood to help his fellow man.
Born in Glen Cove, New York, and raised in Farmingdale and Lake Ronkonkoma, Ross joined Nesconset Fire Department in 1968. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, earning the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
In 1975, he married Kathleen. They settled in Nesconset and had two children, Paul and Steven.
He rose through the ranks of the Nesconset Fire Department, becoming chief in 1982. As an assistant chief, he received the Medal of Valor for rescuing a resident from a house fire in 1981. He received numerous unit citations from the Smithtown Fire Chief’s Council.
Ross was an AHA CPR/first aid instructor. He taught defensive driving, blood borne pathogens, boating safety and regularly assisted with the fire prevention program. He also served as a safety officer for the department and the Smithtown Fire Chief’s Council.
Ross was directly responsible for the restoration of the department’s 1937 American LaFrance pumper. As a result, the department won numerous awards throughout the years.
He worked for the Suffolk County Police Department for 20 years as an evidence recovery tow operator after previously owning his business, Custom Car Carriers.
In addition to being a firefighter, he served as a New York State EMT, helping to facilitate the formation of the First Responder Program. For the past 21 years, he manned this vehicle each week for two consecutive 24-hour tours.
He had a great sense of humor and wit. Beneath the “tough guy persona” he encouraged a positive morale, assisting with training, serving as a mentor to younger members, encouraging them to be the best they could be.