The Greenport Fire Department has a new chief.
After running unopposed and elected April 5 to a one-year term after Kenneth White decided to step down, Wayde Manwaring, 54, was sworn-in as chief earlier this month.
Mayor David Nyce said he was saddened to hear about Mr. White’s decision, but is looking forward to working with Mr. Manwaring, who served as Greenport’s chief once before.
“He’s a straightforward man and is very qualified,” Mr. Nyce said. “We are extremely proud of our volunteer fire department.”
Mr. Manwaring has been with the Greenport Fire Department for over 30 years. The lifelong village resident married his high school sweetheart, who is also a firefighter and an emergency medical technician. They have one son and two grandchildren.
As a firefighter and EMT in Greenport, Mr. Manwaring has also worked as the department’s warden, as well as captain of the rescue squad and water rescue.
“There probably isn’t much that I haven’t done in the Greenport Fire Department,” Mr. Manwaring said. “I love it so much.”
When asked why he decided to become a firefighter, Mr. Manwaring said his passion for the job began as a child. He grew up on Flint Street behind a fire substation.
“It was such a thrill to see the fire trucks go by,” he said. “I loved them then and I still do now.”
He followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a mechanic, starting his career at Mullen Motors in Southold. He has worked at Sunrise Coach in Greenport for the past 10 years.
Although he likes working on engines, Mr. Manwaring said he truly enjoys being a part of the fire department, which has over 100 members.
During the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mr. Manwaring was Greenport’s fire chief and led the department to help with the recovery efforts.
And not only did he take part in battling this month’s wildfires in Manorville, but he also helped with putting out the 1995 wildfires in the Hamptons.
“A lot was learned from the first wildfire,” he said. “It was a little better organized this time around.”
Mr. Manwaring, who has won several awards for bravery and for saving people’s lives, said he plans to continue building on his department’s success.
“My goal is to make sure each firefighter comes back safely,” Mr. Manwaring said. “Saving lives and getting people out, there’s a joy in doing something like that.”