Over 20,000 people are expected to attend the funeral of Islip firefighter


Thousands await to say their last goodbyes and give fallen firefighter Jesse Gerhard a proper final send-off.

Gerhard, a 33-year-old NYC firefighter and Islip volunteer, died on Feb. 16 after responding to a 2nd Alarm fire at 25-43 Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway.

Visitation services will be held Feb. 22 at Chapey Funeral Home located at 200 East Main St. in East Islip from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

According to the East Islip Chamber of Commerce, approximately 20,000 people are expected to attend Gerhard’s services. 

In response to this, Suffolk County Police Department will be closing Main Street from Carleton Avenue to Overlook Drive from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the Firematic services that will be taking place at Chapey and Sons.

Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Bay Shore on Feb. 23 at 12 p.m. 

Expect traffic delays from around 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the funeral procession from Chapey’s to the church. 

The Islip Chamber of Commerce and dozens of volunteers paid tribute to Gerhard on Feb. 21 by lining Islip’s Main Street with red, white, and blue ribbons. 

At the same time, members of the Islip Fire Department honored their fallen brother by hanging American flags on poles throughout the town.

“I don’t want people to mourn his death, I want people to celebrate his life,” Islip Fire Department Chief Alden Schroeder said in a previous report. “This is a brave, caring, selfless guy.”

For more information on funeral arrangements, visit Chapey Funeral Home’s website.

Read the full story on Jesse Gerhard below. 

Previous coverage:

Top: 33-year-old Jesse Gerhard. Photo courtesy of the New York City Fire Department Facebook page.