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Beachwood FD 101st Anniversary & Awards Dinner

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June 24, 2023 | NEW JERSEY BEACHWOOD FD, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

BEACHWOOD, NJ - On June 24th, the Beachwood Vol. Fire Department held its annual awards dinner and celebrated their 101st year of service at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Toms River.

They paid tribute to their past members and recognized members for outstanding service for 2022.

Members William Servilio, Heather Nolze-Brescia and Leonardo Mejia-Moreno were ceremoniously sworn in as they had completed their probationary period as new members in 2022-2023. They were presented copies of the department's oath.

Each year they present two awards for exceptional service to the administrative side and the firematics side of the company. Firefighter Mark Rutkowski was the recipient of the 2022 President's Award, and Lieutenant Michael Robillard received the 2022 Chief's award. They were presented with certificates and citation bars.

This year they also recognized Captain Harley Kopenhafer who obtained his life membership after completing 20 years of active service in 2022. Capt. Kopenhafer also had an additional two years as a "junior member", joining the department while in high school for a total of 22 years of service to Beachwood. Capt. Kopenhafer was presented with a company ring.

The department also made a special presentation to Mayor Ronald Roma for his longtime support of the fire department. Mayor Roma is retiring from politics at the end of 2023. Mayor Roma truly advocated for the members and the department. Administratively, he gave volunteers a seat at the table and treated them as equals with other "professional" department heads. What stood out most amongst the members is how he would respond to the scene of incidents to check on the wellbeing of residents and fire department personnel. This was done out of truly caring with no fanfare, something the department had not experienced in the past. As such, the department presented Mayor Roma with a small token of appreciation, and he was also made an honorary member of the department.

Congratulations to all of the award recipients!

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BEACHWOOD FDCorrespondent

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