David Donnarumma has been named the new chief of North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, the fire department that covers all of northern Hudson County.
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.
“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.”
With 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 (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.
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.
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.”
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.”
North 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.
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.
After nearly 30 years of service, Frank Montagne has become the first North Bergen native to become chief of North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR). Frank was sworn in by North Bergen Mayor Nicholas J. Sacco as NHRFR’s fifth chief after receiving the highest possible civil service score. Chief Montagne then had the honor to swear in seven additional firefighters who were promoted to the rank of Captain.