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.