Jonathan Lee Ielpi was a lifelong resident of Great Neck. Being a firefighter was his passion and dream from the time he was a young boy. He first became a Junior Firefighter with the Great Neck Alert Fire Company. At 17 he became a volunteer firefighter with the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company. During the 12 years he was a member of the Vigilant Fire Company, he worked his way up the ladder of command, by becoming a lieutenant, captain, and eventually an assistant chief.
The most important thing in Jon's life, besides his family, was to serve the public. He was always at the firehouse on Cuttermill Road. If there was a drill, Jonathan would not only attend, but most often he would teach the drill himself.
On September 11, 2001, Jonathan was working as a firefighter with the Fire Department of New York. Assigned to Squad 288, an elite engine company in Queens, Jonathan responded to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. It was passion and dedication that ultimately led to Jon’s death when he, and 6 members of Squad 288, were killed while helping those in need in the South Tower when it collapsed at 9:59 AM. Jon was 29 and left behind a wife and 2 young boys.