North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Responds to Five-Alarm Fire in North Bergen
NHRFR_North Bergen Fire
North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) responded to a five-alarm fire at the Kennedy Furniture store located at 1231 John F. Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen.

About 30 to 40 companies with 80 to 100 firefighters responded to the fire, which started at approximately 11:30 AM. There were no civilian injuries reported, however a firefighter suffered a minor facial injury and was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center at Palisades for care.

“Our firefighters from North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue as well as those that offered mutual aid did a tremendous job in a difficult situation,” said NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne. “We are fortunate that there were no serious injuries and only one minor injury.”

Mutual aid was received from the Jersey City and Kearny Fire Departments who were assisting on the scene, as well as the Hoboken and Bayonne Fire Departments. North Bergen and Jersey City Emergency Medical Services, North Bergen and Union City Police Departments, and North Bergen and Jersey City Office of Emergency Management were also assisting on scene.
North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Achieves Stellar Fire Safety Rating


North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue has been awarded a truly excellent fire safety rating by the Insurance Service Organization, recognizing the department’s status as one of New Jersey’s best fire protection units. NHRFR is one of only 14 fire departments to achieve a 2 rating by the ISO out of 688 departments that were evaluated, placing it in the top 2% in the state. This represents a significant improvement over the 4 rating that NHRFR received when it was last evaluated in 2004 and is being seen as a testament to the department’s effectiveness in protecting North Hudson residents as well as the success of the regionalization initiative that began when the department was organized in 1999.


“When North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue was created our goal was to create not just a more efficient department to protect taxpayer resources, but to build the very best fire protection unit in the state,” said NHRFR Management Committee Chairman Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. “This impressive rating from the ISO speaks to the success we have had and shows how far we have come. It’s a testament to the hard work of each and every one of brave men who put their lives on the line to protect our citizens and to the solid management structure we have put in place to better serve our communities.”


The ISO fire safety ratings are a comprehensive system that evaluates three primary areas of fire protection — Fire Department, Communication and Water Supply — as well as many subcategories. The ratings take into account each department’s equipment, training, manpower, response times, dispatching and many other factors. ISO ratings are seen as a primary means of evaluating the effectiveness of fire departments and are scaled from 1 to 10 with 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest. Nearly 80% of New Jersey fire departments received 3, 4 or 5 ratings.


“Improving NHRFR’s ISO fire safety rating has been among my highest goals since I became Chief of the Department and I am very proud to see our hard work be recognized,” said NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne. “This rating could not have been achieved without the efforts of our entire staff and especially the support of our administration, management committee and host mayors. We all work very hard each and every day to keep our communities safe from fires and other disasters and residents should feel even safer after seeing this rating.”


In addition to serving as a recognition of the department’s effectiveness, ISO fire safety ratings also may have an effect on residential and commercial property insurance premiums with higher-rated communities often seeing lower premiums. NHRFR is encouraging all residential and commercial policy holders within the five municipalities it serves to contact their insurance providers to determine if they are eligible for a rate decrease. Insurance rate decisions are controlled by many factors in addition to ISO ratings at the discretion of the individual insurance carriers and are not controlled by NHRFR or ISO.


North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Hires 10 New Firefighters, Promotes Six

North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Promotions
North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue officially welcomed ten new probationary firefighters and promoted six experienced fire officers at a ceremony recently held at Schuetzen Park Banquet Hall in North Bergen. The new recruits will be attending the Morris County Fire Academy and are expected to begin their service to NHRFR by early July. They will join 75 others hired over the past few years including 65 military veterans, helping to enhance public safety in the NHRFR coverage municipalities of North Bergen, Union City, West New York, Weehawken and Guttenberg and surrounding areas.

“The leaders of our five communities are absolutely committed to providing the best equipment and the necessary manpower to operate the Regional,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, who chairs the Regional’s Management Committee. “NHRFR is the third largest fire department in New Jersey and we are proud to welcome these new recruits to add to the 75 firefighters we have hired over the past few years.”

The promoted officers and their new positions are Deputy Chief Michael Falco, Battalion Chief Daniel Fresse, Captain Terrence Shevlin, Captain Richard Barreres, Captain William Reid and Captain William Shelton.

North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Hiring Ceremony

“Having both the necessary manpower and supervisory positions filled will help make North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue even more effective at keeping our residents safe,” said NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne. “This is a wonderful day for the Regional and especially for the new recruits and promoted officers and their families and friends.”

Elected officials in attendance at the ceremony included Mayor Sacco, Mayor Turner, Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff, West New York Commissioner Gabriel Rodriguez, Union City Commissioner Maryury Martinetti and Harrison Mayor James Fife. Additionally the event was attended by North Bergen Management Committee Board Member Chris Pianese, Union City Board Member Martin Martinetti, West New York Board Member Matthew Watkins, NHRFR Directors Jeff Welz and Mike DeOrio, Chief Montagne and dozens of other NHRFR firefighters and officers, family and friends

“Our North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue does an incredible job keeping our communities safe and doing it in an efficient way that also protects our taxpayers,” said North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco. “It’s great to see these brave young men advancing in their careers and starting their service here and I wish them all the best.”

The new probationary firefighters are John Dolaghan, Jerry Zapata, Michael Conroy, Lou Jester Isip, Glen Harvey, Robert Manzari, Vincent Vassallo, Koi Kirk, Thomas McDonough and Keith Sockell.

“Keeping our people safe is the most important job of local government and I am very proud of these new and promoted firefighters,” said Mayor Roque. “We are continuing to invest in public safety and will always work to ensure that our residents are protected from fires and other disasters.”


North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Hires Ten New Firefighters — All Veterans — and Promotes One to Captain

North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Hiring VeteransWith dozens of proud family members in attendance and local elected leaders looking on, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue officially swore in ten new firefighters and promoted one to Captain at a ceremony today. All ten of the new hires are military veterans who served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now they will have the opportunity to continue putting the training, leadership and skills they developed in the armed forces to great use in protecting families throughout North Hudson from fires and other emergencies. The ceremony was held in North Bergen at the Schuetzen Park Casino Room and was attended by mayors and representatives of each of the five towns NHRFR serves.

“This is a very significant day for North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and it shows the department’s continued commitment to employing veterans of our armed services,” said Weehawken Mayor and NHRFR Board Chairman Richard Turner. “We have now hired 65 military veterans over the past two years and the leadership, bravery and experience they have brought to the Regional is invaluable to the residents of our communities.”

These ten new firefighters join 55 veterans who have been hired by NHRFR over the past two years. The Regional has a firm commitment to employing military veterans, who come to the job with the strongest possible experience in following a command structure and bravely putting their lives on the line in order to protect others. The new firefighters have all completed training at the Bergen County Fire Academy and are now on the job. In addition to the new hires, Firefighter Markus Rehfeld was promoted to the rank of Captain.

“Veterans understand the command structure and the physical demands of the job, but most importantly they possess the leadership and bravery necessary to be outstanding members of our department,” said NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne. “There is no better way for us to honor their service and sacrifice than by allowing them to utilize the skills they have learned in protecting our North Hudson community. I would like to thank our five mayors for their continued commitment to ensuring a proper staffing level and high level of public safety in our community.”

The new firefighters are Gary E. Colombo, Marcin Cymek, Howard X. Intriago, Godson Noel, Fabrizio Alessandri, Luis A. Mejia, Edgardo Feliciano, Herbert Martinez, Roberto Villanueva, Jr. and Radoslaw Krol.

In addition to Mayor Turner, elected officials at the ceremony included North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nick Sacco, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff and Hudson County Freeholder-elect Anthony Vainieri. The event was also attended by NHRFR Board members Chris Pianese of North Bergen, Union City member Martin Martinetti, West New York member Ruben Vargas, Executive Directors Mike DeOrio and Jeff Welz, Deputy Chief Charles Thomas, Deputy Chief David Donnaruma, Captain Matthew Caliente, several members of the department’s command and supervisory staff and dozens of proud family and friends.

North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue introduces “Marine 1″ Fire Boat

North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) officially launched the new 38-foot ‘Marine 1’ Fire Boat on July 8 at the NY Waterway Ferry Terminal in Weehawken. The purchase of the vessel, funded by federal grants, will further enhance NHRFR’s rescue capabilities along the Hudson County Waterfront and expand its mission as a Homeland Security first responder. The Regional’s water rescue response was famously called into action in 2009, when NHRFR firefighters captained the first rescue vessel to respond to the US Airways Flight 1549 water landing by Captain “Sully” Sullenberger.

New Year-New Rank


NHRFR Jan 2014 1

Family, friends and government dignitaries were on hand to celebrate the recent promotion of nine North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue firefighters to the rank of Captain. Additionally, the Regional promoted former Captain Daniel DeOrio to the rank of Battalion Chief.

“It is important to recognize these men for their hard work and dedication to the people of the five towns we cover,” said North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Chief Frank Montagne. “They train hard every day and are prepared to lay down their lives in the service of our communities. They truly are leaders and I am so pleased to see them distinguished in this way.”

Back Row: North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Board Member Ruben Vargas, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Board Secretary Martin Martinetti, Guttenberg Mayor and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Board Member Gerald R. Drasheff, Co-Director Mike DeOrio, Mayor Nicholas J. Sacco, Weehawken Mayor and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Chairman Richard Turner, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Vice Chairman Chris Pianese and Co-Director Jeff Welz.

Front Row: Captain Richard DeSimone, Captain Matthew Caliente, Captain Michael Crossan, Captain Michael Alvarado, Captain Thomas Van Leuven, Captain Carlos Perez, Captain David Lacarrubba, Captain Steven Wojtowicz, Captain Jose Ramos, Battalion Chief Daniel DeOrio, and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Chief Frank Montagne.

Those Who Serve

Those Who Serve

Nightly News with Brian Williams profiled NHRFR’s hiring of 30 new firefighters who are all United States Veterans, including those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. As members of the uniformed services, they immediately understand the chain of command and the type of structure the Regional operates under, while their dedication to serving their country and communities singles these candidates out as assets to the department.

Funding for the new hires comes from a $5.6 million Federal SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) Grant. “Is our privilege to provide jobs to those who have honorably served their country,” said Richard Turner, NHRFR Chairman and Mayor of Weehawken. “I would like to personally thank Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, as well as Congressman Albio Sires, whose efforts mean that these new firefighters will provide residents with an increased level of fire protection at no cost to taxpayers for the next two years.”

4th Grade Fire Prevention with Mayor Roque

West NY Fire Prevention

Mayor Felix Roque, a NHRFR Board Member, joined members of North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue as they presented a fire safety program to fourth graders at PS#2 in West New York. NHRFR brought their fire safety trailer to schools in North Bergen, Union City, West New York, Weehawken and Guttenberg as part of Fire Prevention Month.

“West New York was very proud to see our firefighters and students coming together for this important program,” said Mayor Roque. “Our fourth graders had some interesting questions for the firemen and I know they enjoyed this very much.”

Opening of Union City Firehouse

unioncityfirehousesNorth Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue is now operating a new, state-of-the-art, double firehouse at 4300 Kennedy Blvd. in Union City. The firehouse will also house the Regional’s fire dispatch center (fire control), emergency operating center and its emergency and interoperability command center, which will enable NHRFR to link with surrounding emergency networks in the case of a major disaster or terrorist incident.

Visit by NJ Division of Fire Safety

Representatives from the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety visited NHRFR headquarters in West New York to donate of hundreds of fire detectors for residents of Guttenberg, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and West New York. The smoke detectors have been distributed to residents, specifically focusing on senior citizens, lower-income residents and households with children.