Main Content


N.J. Forest Fire Service Helps Burn Foundation Artist with the 2020 Limited Edition Artwork Image

By Joseph M. Getsinger, Correspondent | May 18, 2020 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 051820104

For the 40th year of his partnership with the BURN FOUNDATION and its annual fundraiser at the NJ State Firefighters’ Convention in Wildwood, NJ, artist Joseph M. Getsinger wanted to create something unique, but was not sure of what to paint next. Then a co-worker and firefighter, Rich Dale, suggested a “Wildfire” scene honoring New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Over the years, Joe’s work has depicted many aspects of firefighting featuring firefighters, equipment, history and various evolutions of the firefighter experience. This painting will be the first to feature the Forest Fire Service in action.

The Burn Foundation was established in 1973 to provide fundraising for the emerging specialty of treatment of burn injuries. The foundation was founded with the mission to provide assistance to burn patients and the institutions that treat them. Over the years the four (4) regional Burn Centers at Crozer Chester Medical Center, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Temple University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, their patients and staff, have all benefited from contributions raised at various events throughout the years. But none is more important than the annual NJ State Firefighters’ Convention in Wildwood. Joe Getsinger’s art has been a major influence in the foundation’s success in Wildwood for 40 years.

To get the ball rolling with this year’s painting, Joe called Assistant State Fire Warden/K9 Handler of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, William J. Donnelly of Division “C” Headquarters. Bill responded that he and his crew would be honored to assist the Burn Foundation and the artist. He and his crew knew of Joe’s art, some of which is displayed at their headquarters.

In early March, Getsinger met with Donnelly and his crew and set up a photo shoot in the Mays Landing forest. The crew was ready with equipment and manpower. Joe learned many facets of the expertise of New Jersey State Forest Firefighters and what they do, not only to extinguish fires, but also to prevent a wildfire from spreading.

The scenario for the painting is planned to show a wildfire traveling to the crew’s area of operations and what the Forest Fire Service members do to mitigate its spread. The artist will also incorporate the NJ Forest Fire Service airplane shown dropping an extinguishing agent from above.

Joe found the photo shoot and exercise a terrific learning experience about the NJ Forest Fire Service and its great group of dedicated professionals. In an earlier tour of the Headquarters, Joe discovered an older metal sign with Smokey the Bear that he thought might be incorporated in the Burn Foundation’s fundraising efforts at the 2020 NJ State Firefighters Convention in Wildwood, if the rights to the image can be obtained. Stay tuned on this.

This yearly art project continues to be sponsored in full by David Russell, President, FIRE & SAFETY SERVICES Ltd., South Plainfield, N.J., who has supported the Burn Foundation and the Artist for over 20 years.

We all look forward to meeting in Wildwood this September if the spread of the Coronavirus has diminished and everyone can safely attend.

Finally, God bless our First Responders, Nurses, Doctors, EMTs, Firefighters, Police and all who support them in their efforts to stem the effects of Covid-19. We especially pray for the families who have lost loved ones during this pandemic.

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