Wading River street to be named in honor ex-fire chief Thomas Lateulere

Thomas Lateulere, the Wading River ex-chief who died last year after decades training Suffolk County’s emergency medical volunteers, will soon be honored with a street in his name.

At Thursday’s Town Board work session, Councilman John Dunleavy said Mr. Lateulere’s mother asked him whether a street could be renamed in his honor. The board unanimously agreed it was something they should make happen.

“I think he’s so deserving of it,” added Councilwoman Jodi Giglio.

Mr. Lateulere, who was named the News-Review’s 2016 Public Servant of the Year, joined the Wading River Fire Department in 1981 and became an EMT one year later. He worked his way through the ranks at the fire department and was elected chief from 2003 to 2004.

Mr. Lateulere, who died June 27, 2016, was one of the first paramedics to fly with the Suffolk County police helicopter in an effort to save lives. He later instituted and taught the classes that educated thousands of volunteer firefighters and EMTs through the county’s Regional Emergency Medical Services Council.

Mr. Lateulere’s coworkers said he was so dedicated to his job that he came in to work while still receiving chemotherapy treatments for his cancer and worked until the day he died, sending out work emails from his hospital bed.

Town officials said no street names will be changed. Instead, they said Mr. Lateulere’s name will be added above the existing street sign so that postal addresses can remain the same.

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File photo: Mourners pay tribute to Thomas Lateulere at the Wading River firehouse after his death in June. (Credit: Nicole Smith)