First Responders, Residents Thank Gasoline Heaven for Keeping Fuel Flowing

Commack Fire District Commissioner Patrick Fazio said without Gasoline Heaven, he doesn't know how firefighters would have been able to respond to calls.


Tempers have flared across Long Island over gas shortages that kept customers waiting in hour-long lines to fill a tank to get to work or fill a 5-gallon container to keep a generator going over the past two weeks. 

But not in Commack. 

As business returns to normal, Commack first responders and residents are expressing their gratitude to a local business for keeping the fuel flowing.

"If we didn't have cooperation from Rudy Massa and his family, knowing and ensuring our guys could get to the fire house, and our guys could get to the ambulance corp, I don't know what would have happened," said Pat Fazio, commissioner of the Commack Fire District. 

Fazio said at the first signs of a gas shortage was about to strike Long Island, he received a crucial phone call from Rudy Massa, owner of Gasoline Heaven on Jericho Turnpike.

"Rudy was the first one to call me and ask 'How are you guys holding out?' and I said to him 'It's probably going to be a big of a problem'," Fazio said.  "Rudy told me, 'Not as long as I'm around'."

Massa said it was his personal experience running Gasoline Heaven during the gas shortages of 1973 and 1979 that lead him to contact Commack Fire Department and Commack Ambulance Corp. 

"I remembered and thought  they might have problems getting fuel," he said. 

He reached out to Gulf Corp. to explain the gas shortage on Long Island, and his personal commitment to making sure local first responders, doctors, nurses and other critical personnel had enough gas in their car's tank to be able to respond to emergencies. 

Gulf responded, Massa said, by making sure to get him as many tanker deliveries as possible. 

During the gas shortage, Gasoline Heaven set up two lines for gas can fill ups, a line for gasoline fill ups, a separate line for diesel fill ups and one line exclusively for first responders. 

"Our fire and ambulance personnel were able to fill up just their personal car to get to the fire house, and he made sure our vehicles had fuel," Fazio said. 

This was critical when Commack Fire Department responded to a house fire in which gas vapors from a generator caught a spark, seriously burning a Commack woman on Nov. 5. 

As for Massa, he said the gas shortage caused by Hurricane Sandy was worse than the previous shortages in 1973 and 1979. 

"This is worse because there are more cars on the road and there are more people. It's been very stressful for the public," Massa said. 

Commack residents thanked Gasoline Heaven to keeping a steady supply of gas in time of need. 

"Gasoline Heaven has been the best. Might be a long line but it moves so fast. They have had Gas everyday.Thank you Rudy and Rocky you run an organized establishment," Helen wrote in an e-mail on Nov.8  to Commack Patch. 

Patch Blogger Heidi also commended the Massa family for keeping the gas flowing in Commack. 

"I have to give a quick thumbs up, hats off, high five and major kudos to Gasoline Heaven in Commack.  They have been fantastic in keeping long lines moving, staying organized and getting consistent gas deliveries.  Even if the lines are long they will send someone to each and every car if gas should run dry with next estimated delivery so you're not finding out when you get to the pump," she wrote. 

As for Massa, he gave the credit to his employees, many college students, for working with him through the agas shortages and coming to work on a moment's notice. 

"My staff come to work, pumping gas to make a living while going to work. I call you and tell you to come in two hours, three hours later we're out of gas and I'm sending you home," he said. 

Their willingness to work erratic hours, keep order and calm the tempers of those waiting in long lines for gas kept things flowing smoothly. 

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Paul November 16, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I'm not Paul? Don't tell the bank where I cashed my paycheck. Just because you sound like you may be Rudy advertising his gas station doesn't mean we are using alias' "Mike" or is it REED, Freddy or Barry.
* November 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM
All of you as I survived. Gasoline Heaven in a devastation went the National Guard distance. To help their customers vote their dollars once again for sincere professional service. Its a business runned professionally so please do not make this personal. On the high road, help a stranger, give to a food bank and be a compassionate individual. Then realized you have join together in humanity. No man is a island .....
ReeNee November 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I agree about HESS being on top of the game during this gas crisis. Lines were kept orderly and same price cash/credit. HESS was the only gas station II was able to get info about gas. I actually saw a HESS attendant bring gas over to a van that ran out of gas a few cars behind me. I'm not trying to take credit away from GH as they were awesome as well.
Mitch Eisenstein November 19, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Lets face it, in a crisis the price goes up and some people have long memories, and some have forgotten everything. My suggestion to those who need gas, go get a Prius, or buy a bunch of gas cans and fill them and store the Stabile preserved gas in your shed, ventilation caps closed. Preparation is everything. Be like the little pig who made his home of brick, and weather the storm in comfort. I had a chainsaw ready, I had 40 gallons of gas, and a generator. My cars were filled up. I had hot water and refrigeration. You can too!
Sara Walsh November 19, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Thank you everyone for chiming in with your comments, but the thread of conversation has gone far off track from the original article. We feel all sides have had a chance to be heard and have closed comments on this thread. - Sara Walsh, Commack Patch editor.


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