North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue made history recently by swearing-in 37 new firefighters, its largest hiring class ever, including Lisa Napier, the first female firefighter in the 20-year history of NHRFR. All 37 new firefighters are U.S. military veterans, showing the regional fire department’s unwavering commitment to supporting our nation’s veterans.

All New Firefighters

“Each of the 37 men and women joining our ranks have served this country, and will continue to protect their communities as members of the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue,” said NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne. “They are all extremely qualified and I am confident they will make excellent firefighters.”

“Today we are proud to welcome 37 brave men and women to the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, and wish them luck as they begin their important work protecting the community,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. “I would like to thank Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Congressman Sires for helping secure a Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) federal grant which will fully pay the salaries of 35 of these new firefighters. Federal funding this year also enabled the purchase of state-of-the-art cameras which detect body heat and can save precious time when fire crews are in dangerous situations.”

The new NHRFR firefighters are: Alexis Barreto, Ryan M. Haas, Kevin L. Riker, Joshua M. Grochowski, Stephen Arxer, Michael A. Viggiano, Mitchell L. Hoffman, Philip T. Hoffman Jr., Paul B. Brown, Rembert A. Amistad, Patrick J. Klebaur, Shane M. Paczkowski, Julio C. Pinedo, Kenneth E. Stewart, Lisa A. Napier, Kevin P. Greenfield, Alex C. Burkhardt, Richard J. Villane, Ryan A. Malanot, Matthew M. Buchman, Ronnie J. Guerra, Jose J. Solano, Patrick L. Morris, Jeffrey T. Mullins, Arthur J. Knutsen, David L. Washington, Fernando Rodriguez, Mark S. Moran, Andres F. Lopez, Marc R. Vero, Michael A. Carvajal, Thomas H. Ruane, David C. Sigwart, Mauricio B. Rojas, Kyle L. Rowand, Johandy Martinez and Xavier A. Romo.

Group Shot 1Three firefighters were promoted to the rank of Captain: Joseph B. Gobin, Peter Mancini and Timothy P. Richards. Nicholas A. Prato was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief.

Present at the ceremony were Chief Montagne, Mayor Turner, NHRFR Executive Directors Michael DeOrio and Jeffrey Welz, Deputy Chief Anthony Venezia, Battalion Chief Alider Pratts, and NHRFR Board Members Guttenberg Councilman John Habermann, Christopher Pianese and Martin Martinetti.

NHRFR is a nationally recognized fire protection unit, and one of the largest regionalized fire departments in the United States. Covering the North Hudson towns of Guttenberg, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and West New York, NHRFR takes pride in maintaining one of the best response times in the nation.