|By RON JEFFERS
|Picatinny Arsenal firefighters are planning a late summer ceremony to celebrate their 100th anniversary as a paid department.
DOWNS: A 2-alarm fire damaged four dwellings and displaced several families on Oak St., Trenton, Feb. 11th.
UPS: New deputy fire chiefs in Belleville are Marty Lutz and Tim Buckley.
DOWNS: An 83-year-old Bloomfield resident died as the result of a 2-alarm fire in her Watsessing Ave. home, Feb. 8th. Firefighters found the woman unresponsive and they tried to revive her with CPR, officials said. She succumbed to her injuries at Clara Maass Medical Center.
UPS: The Clifton F.D. is putting a third ambulance into service for the city of 86,607 residents. If necessary, crews will be paid with overtime funds to maintain the unit. The use of OT personnel to staff the ambulance is expected to be a temporary solution until five new firefighters are added to the roster of 143, in March.
DOWNS: One person received minor injuries after a Hawthorne ambulance was struck and knocked on its side by an SUV at Goffle Rd. & Lafayette Ave., on Feb. 15th. Three people were in the ambulance and were taken to St. Jospeh's Regional MC for treatment. The Hawthorne and Wyckoff FD rescue companies and a Glen Rock ambulance assisted at the scene.
UPS: The Scotch Plains Fire Department will celebrate 150-years of service, June 15th, with a parade, block party and refreshments.
DOWNS: Two families lost their homes when fire struck the Millbridge Gardens complex in Gloucester Twp., Feb. 17th. One firefighter suffered a minor arm injury.
UPS: Franklin Lakes firefighters celebrated Firefighter Jack Willer's 98th birthday with a candle blowout, substituting the numbers “98” for the number of candles on his cake, on Feb. 11th. “Jack no longer responds to alarms, but he is always willing to offer help in any way he is able,” said Tom Donch, a former mayor and president of the FLFD.
DOWNS: Jersey City Engine 19 was rear-ended by a vehicle at Kellog St. & Route 440 on Feb. 20th. Two civilians were examined by EMS, and the rig suffered back step area damage.
UPS: Edison firefighters rescued an unconscious woman from her burning mobile home, off Route 1, on Feb. 13th. Firefighters carried the woman outside, and she was given CPR and transported to JFK MC for additional treatment, officials said.
DOWNS: Hamilton Township District 9 and the Groveville Fire Company sadly announced the passing of company mascot, Ember, in February. Ember joined the company in 2006 and became instrumental in helping firefighters teach children how to “Stop, Drop and Roll.” She traveled across the community with firefighters to fire prevention activities and was well known.
UPS: Jersey City firefighters assisted in the delivery of a baby on Ege Ave., Feb. 8th. Captain Kevin Child and Firefighters Ronnie Cutler and Michael Sheehan responded to the woman in labor call. Capt. Child found the pregnant woman on a mattress on the floor with the baby's head crowning. Child and Cutler assisted in the delivery while Sheehan went to retrieve medical equipment, later making sure the baby appeared healthy. EMS personnel arrived and cut the umbilical cord and the mother became unresponsive, moments later, officials said. After Cutler administered CPR, the woman awakened and the three firefighters assisted EMS for transport to the hospital.
DOWNS: Twenty-seven people were displaced by two separate dwelling fires in Plainfield on Feb. 20th. The fires occurred on W. Front St. and Garfield Ave.
UPS: The Fredon Volunteer Fire Company honored one of its longest-serving members, John Richardson Sr., with the dedication of a new fire truck in his name. The honor occurred during the department's annual installation of officers dinner, Feb. 23rd. Richardson, a former mayor and current member of the Fredon Township Committee, knew the new rig had been purchased, but was surprised when it pulled up at the dinner. A plaque on the new KME dedicated the apparatus in the name of the 40-year member.
DOWNS: Atlantic City Station 4 has been closed for repairs to its roof and a mold removal process. Engine 4 was moved to Station 3 and Ladder 2 relocated to Station 6.
UPS: Brigantine firefighters saved a man from cold waters on Feb. 24th after his sailboat capsized in the bay behind 12th Street South. Captain Paul Fuller said firefighters, wearing cold water rescue suits, launched a jet ski from a boat ramp to reach the victim. They loaded him onto the jet ski's rescue sled and brought him back to shore and he was turned over to EMS personnel. He was about 600-yards off shore.
DOWNS: A person died in a mobile home fire on North East Ave., Vineland, on Feb. 20th.
UPS: Scott Wentworth and Frank Papaianni have been promoted to battalion chief in Belleville. New captains are Scott Dupont and Bill Hands, Jr. The new lieutenants are Brian Salmon and Steve Salzer.
DOWNS: A 72-year-old Newark man was killed in a smoky fire at the St. Mary's Villa apartments, Feb. 23rd.
UPS: Wallington Truck Co. 1 will celebrate their 125th anniversary on Sept. 21st at 67 Union Blvd., between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
DOWNS: Madison firefighters responded to a smoke in the building call on Main St., Feb. 25th, and they found a roof fire. Firefighters discovered a contractor repairing the roof of Caldwell bankers, where they were using a torch.
UPS: On Feb. 25th, the River Vale Mayor and Council recognized the River Vale CERT team for 15-years of volunteer service in the community.
DOWNS: Another fire struck the Marcal paper facility in Elmwood Park on Feb. 26th. This time, flames were contained to a control room in building PM 10, according to Police Chief Michael Foligno.
UPS: Delran recognized Firefighter Chuck Kendra with a surprise proclamation for his 50-years of volunteer service, at a February department meeting.
DOWNS: One person inside a burning St. Miheil Drive pizza parlor, in Riverside, suffered burns and was taken to Tempel Burn Center, February 26th. Firefighters used water and foam to control the flames.
UPS: Atlantic City firefighters climbed down about 15-feet into a sewage filtration tank to rescue an injured worker at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority on Absecon Blvd., Feb. 24th. Firefighters Daniel Lopez and Brian Berthold climbed down a ground ladder into the confined shaft to locate the victim, officials said. They then used a skippy board to secure the worker and hauled him back to the surface using a four-to-one rope system. The victim was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital.
DOWNS: Another boarded up, vacant dwelling in Paterson burned on Feb. 27th, this one on Hopper Street. The fire burned fiercely, said Chief of Department Brian McDermott. Siding on homes across the street had melted from the heat. “It was one of the most intense fires I've seen on arrival in many years,” the chief said. The fire spread to an exposure and both structures were described as a total loss. Firefighters doused flames in the alley next to Christ Temple Baptist Church, next door. The wooden window frames of the church caught fire and the church's stained glass windows were blown out, but the fire did not spread beyond the frames, McDermott said.
UPS: The FMBA held its ninth annual “Cooked & Uncorked” festival in Edison, Feb. 26th, to raise money for the NJ FMBA Foundation and the St. Barnabas Burn Foundation. Paterson firefighters took home first place in the firehouse category by serving tomahawk short ribs braised with red wine and cherries, whipped mashed potatoes and glazed vegetables. It was the third first-place win for the department. Morristown won the gourmet category with an Asian-inspired poke dish.
DOWNS: Flames destroyed a Barbour St. dwelling in Haledon on Feb. 27th. It took about three hours to get the fire under control, Chief Chris Bakker said.
UPS: The Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department was formed on March 10, 1919, as a paid unit with 14 members consisting of two assistant chiefs and 12 firefighters, assigned to two tours. A ceremony to celebrate the 100th anniversary is being planned for late summer.