The following article was submitted by Harry Loud, public information director for the .
Charles Cole, 49, of Wantagh, a dedicated firefighter and police officer who spent many hours at the World Trade Center site following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was laid to rest this past Thursday after losing a long battle to brain cancer. Charlie, as he was affectionately known, had devoted his entire adult life to the communities in which he lived.
Charlie was born on a military base, but raised in the Medford. He graduated from Patchogue/Medford High School, where he was involved in their ROTC program.
After graduating, he worked various jobs and eventually became a paramedic in New York City. While living in Medford, he put his training to use and in 1981 joined the Medford Ambulance Corp. He stayed with them for nine years, becoming their training officer and passing his first aid knowledge onto others.
In July 1983, Charlie also joined the Medford Fire Department. He was also instrumental in there training program as well and served in that capacity for over a decade.
During his time with the Medford Fire Department, Charlie prepared for and passed the entrance exam for the Nassau County Police Department and on July 24, 1987 and he was then appointed as a Nassau County police officer in the Seventh Precinct. In 1991, he transferred to the Highway Patrol and was later moved on to the Motor Carrier Division of that unit.
In 2002, Charlie was assigned to Emergency Service Unit (ESU) and stayed with that unit until his death. After Sept. 11, Charlie spent many hours at the World Trade Center, which his family said they believed contributed to his disease and death. During his 24-year career he was awarded several police service awards for his outstanding service to Nassau County.
In 1992, while still residing in Suffolk he joined the North Patchogue Fire Department only to resign two years later when he moved to Wantagh. This move put him closer to his job and his fiancée Eva.
In 2009 he joined the and was assigned to Engine 2. Once again, his training skills came into play and he would lead classes in the use of extrication tools, victim removal and problems that might arise at accident scenes.
“Charlie always came to work and humbly did his job,” said his Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Adam Scheiner. "He was an asset to the community and county for his knowledge and service...I will personally miss him as will the unit.”
Charlie was an avid photographer and photographed many local fire department functions as well as weddings, sporting events and parties.
Charlie was waked at Medford Fire Headquarters on Aug. 16 and again on Aug. 17. A Firematic and Police service was held Wednesday evening with some 250 police officers and firefighters attending. An Arch of Honor was provided by Wantagh Ladder 2 and Patchogue Truck 6. Refreshments were provided to all by the Medford Fire Department after the service.
A funeral mass was held Thursday morning with full police and fire department honors at Saint Sylvester’s R.C. Church in Medford. Internment was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.
Charlie is survived by his wife Eva, his daughter Meagan, 16, his son Matthew 13, three step-children Scott 20, Seth 19 and Karina 17, his parents, Marguerite and Charles Cole and a brother, Timothy.