Paul Long was born in 1964, in Duncormick, Co. Wexford the oldest of the seven children of Michael and Ann Long. He attended school at the Ballymitty National School and went on to St. Peter’s College in Wexford Town.
After leaving school, Paul joined the Irish Reserve Defense Forces, was posted for six months in the Curragh military camp and served for a time near the border.
Following his military service, Paul spent a period of time working at his family’s supermarket as a butcher. He decided, at the age of 20 to come to the United States. As he tells the story, he wished to fulfill his lifelong dream of meeting John Wayne and Elvis Presley. News traveled slowly in County Wexford back then, so Paul only discovered when he arrived in New York that the Duke and the King were no longer with us.
Another stroke of luck brought Paul to Long Island. Upon his arrival in this country he couldn’t locate the friend of a friend he was supposed to meet in New York City, and instead called a Locust Valley number his aunt had slipped into his pocket.
Paul soon found employment working on the grounds at the Piping Rock Club. More good luck followed as was joined here a year later by the beautiful Jacinta “Cindy” Long, also from Co. Wexford.
From 1985 to 1992, Paul worked for a local landscape contractor. During this time, he became acquainted with the famous Nelson Doubleday, who in 1992 recruited him as the senior horticultural technician on his estate in Locust Valley.
Paul join AOH in the early 1990’s. He ultimately became President and Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Paul was instrumental in transforming the Division from an obscure fraternal organization to a well-known organization heavily involved in a wide variety of community events and causes on the North Shore.
Paul also continued his studies, receiving a degree in ornamental horticulture at SUNY Farmingdale. He is a member of the Long Island Rose Society, the American Rose Society and the Manhattan Rose Society. In this field Paul has achieved the status of “Consulting Rosarian”.
Paul was profoundly moved by the events of September 11, 2001 and felt compelled to do everything he could to assist his country in the wake of that day’s attacks. He started by travelling into Manhattan to provide what aid he could to the rescue and recovery workers who toiled there.
Inspired by the example of the first responders on 9/11, Paul became a member of the Locust Valley Fire Department. He went on to become Second Lieutenant and, then, First Lieutenant and is now the Captain of a Hose Co. No. 1. He has been elected a commissioner of the Locust Valley Fire District and is currently serving a five-year term in that position.
Paul went back to school yet again, becoming first an EMT, then an EMT CC (critical care), and ultimately becoming a paramedic in 2014. He has served as volunteer paramedic with the Glen Cove EMS for the past 5 years.
Paul designed and constructed Glen Cove’s first 9/11 Memorial, incorporated into a rose garden he planted in Morgan Park.
One of Paul’s proudest accomplishments has been his work with Wounded Warriors. He and two fellow Locust Valley firefighters began raising funds for wounded troops and they went on to become the highest fundraising department on Long Island. Paul has made regular trips to Camp Lejeune and Ft. Bragg to distribute gifts bought with funds he raises to the troops and their families. He also volunteers with Hope for the Warriors, among other things by picking up and driving wounded troops when they visit New York.
Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Paul travelled as part of an American Red Cross medical team to Mississippi and Louisiana, spending three weeks assisting those worst affected by the storm.
Paul and Cindy have three children, Aaron, Tanya, James. Aaron, 30, is a Firefighter with the FDNY, Engine 301, based in Hollis, Queens. Tanya, 25, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in the arts at Cranbrook, in Michigan. James, 13, is in the Seventh Grade at Locust Valley Middle School, and plans to become a professional hockey player.