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TENAFLY FD OPEN HOUSE TO RE-CONNECT WITH THE PUBLIC

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August 01, 2024 | NEW JERSEY Ron Jeffers, New Jersey Editor
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Tenafly, N.J. - At the beginning of the year, Fire Captain Mark Marzocchi was thinking of ways to re-connect the fire department with the public.  Many people and organizations were separated since COVID.  In addition, he was thinking of ways to recruit new members for the volunteer fire department.


He had many conversations with local firefighters and friends of the department.  Meetings were held at the fire house; and, in about four short months an Open House and Fire Apparatus Muster were organized.


To begin with, a committee was formed consisting of local and area firefighters, and friend of the department.  Within the general committee, other responsibilities were organized.  This included acquiring food, refreshments, promotional literature and website information, donations, acquiring fire safety programs, inviting local fire departments to attend with a new or antique piece of fire apparatus, and much more.  Donations were accepted, as this was to be a non-profit event.  It was all for the good of the fire service and the public.  Who's going to cook, who can pick up various materials, have a banner made, etc.? 


For the fire apparatus that attended, several award plaques were made for various categories.  A challenge coin was quickly designed and made in time for the event.  They were distributed to the person/s that attend the event with a rig or other event items.  Extra coins were sold to cover cost, and the only item for sale at the event.


The Fort Lee Fire Department attended with their Fire Safety House trailer, and a fire extinguisher simulator  was provided by the Bergen County Fire Marshal's office.


Firefighters maintained a recruitment table to explain the duties of a volunteer firefighter.  In addition, there were hot dogs and hamburgers along with water and soda, plus an ice cream truck. That truck was as popular at the antique fire apparatus!       


Riverside Road, in front of Fire Headquarters, was closed between noon and 4 p.m, where apparatus was lined up.  Visiting fire departments that attend with apparatus included: River Edge (2), Leonia (2), Dumont (2), Demarest, Maywood, Lyndhurst, Paramus and the Jersey City Gong Club canteen unit.  Privately owned rigs in attendance included a 343 Memorial rescue truck and a former Ridgefield Park Engine 4 pumper. 


A unique line up was Tenafly's white colored 1920 American La France pumper parked next to the  Lyndhurst 1920 American La France pumper, painted red.  Tenafly's apparatus were all lined up along the firehouse apron.   


The blue sky and comfortable weather made for a nice afternoon, with a large presence of area residents, with their children, enjoying the day.  It was also a day of firefighters from different departments reuniting, as well as many “old timers” enjoying the day. 


At the closing of the event, Captain Marzocchi mentioned his idea for the project and to get back together with the community and to promote the volunteer service. This, during a time when people have many more obligations and responsibilities than in the past.   


The awards were then presented to the firefighters who won a plaque for their apparatus, covering the various categories that were selected by the committee. 


A quickly arranged event with a dedicated committee made for a successful day.  It was obvious that the officers and firefighters were proud of the event that they had put together for the community. 

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Ron JeffersNew Jersey Editor

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