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Deputy Chief Gerald V. Keegan Served Jersey City for 43 Years

By RON JEFFERS, New Jersey Editor | January 10, 2022 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 011022105

He was twice awarded for valor during his time with the Jersey City Fire Department, and he was a Magnum Cum Laude graduate of Jersey City State College with a degree in Fire Science. To say he loved being a firefighter would be an understatement.

Retired Deputy Chief Keegan, 92, passed away on December 31st. He retired from the F.D.J.C. in 1997 as Chief of the First Division.

The chief served his country with the United States Air Force during the Korean War from 1951-1953. In addition, he was a communicant of St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church, in Sea Girt, where he resided. He was born and raised in his beloved Jersey City.

The chief saw plenty of action during his 43-years in the state's second largest city. As a matter of fact, he was on the cover of many national fire magazines, in command of fire incidents.

On a personal note, Chief Keegan called this writer his “favorite photographer".

Operating at emergency scenes, firefighters may encounter media photographers, with huge lenses, but they still seem to get close up to operations. After seeing himself on some covers, the chief would tell me, “I didn't even know you were there!” I told him, “That's why God invented the zoom lens!”

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.