The Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners, in conjunction with Fire Chief Jonathan T. Yahr, is pleased to announce the expansion of the Fire District’s paid firefighting personnel. Over the next two fiscal years, the Fire District will be hiring 20 additional career firefighters, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing public safety within the community.
The hiring plan entails the addition of eight firefighters in 2024, followed by an additional 12 firefighters in 2025. This strategic growth will increase the total number of career firefighting staff to 53 dedicated firefighters and officers. The Lakewood Fire District remains steadfast in its dedication to providing exceptional emergency response services.
Upon reaching the full complement of 53 career firefighters and officers, the Fire District will establish three fire companies, each comprising one officer – promoted from within the ranks – and three (3) firefighters. In addition, a Chief Officer will be on duty at all times. Two (2) companies will be stationed at the Monmouth Avenue fire station, with the other company based at the Cedar Bridge Avenue fire station. These stations will be operational 24 hours per day, seven days per week, further augmenting the Fire District’s outstanding volunteer firefighting force, which consists of 50 active members.
The decision to expand the career division of the Lakewood Fire Department is a result of careful consideration and the recommendations put forth by the district’s administrative and professional staff. The Board of Fire Commissioners, cognizant of the fiscal restraints placed on taxpayers, has ensured that the hiring schedule will be implemented efficiently, adhering to the established financial framework.
The benefits of this expansion are far-reaching. With an increased number of on duty firefighters and officers, the Lakewood Fire District will significantly enhance its emergency response capabilities, ensuring faster and more effective intervention during fires, hazardous materials situations, and other critical incidents. The augmented personnel will lead to reduced emergency response times and enhanced safety for the community.
Chief Jonathan T. Yahr expressed his enthusiasm about the expansion, stating, “We are thrilled to strengthen our firefighting force and extend our reach to better protect and serve the residents of Lakewood. The addition of these firefighters and officers will significantly enhance our emergency response capabilities, ensuring the safety and well-being of our community. The growth of the career division of the Fire Department does not lessen the need nor diminish the role of our outstanding volunteer members. With our dedicated volunteers the Fire Department is equipped to handle many smaller emergencies and larger incidents at the same time with speed and professionalism. There is a constant need for new volunteer members, and we continue to welcome dedicated individuals who have a desire to serve and protect Lakewood to join us as volunteer firefighters or support members.”
The Lakewood Fire District takes pride in the ongoing recruitment of volunteer firefighters and support members. The Lakewood Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners, along with Fire Chief Jonathan T. Yahr, actively seeks individuals who have the passion to serve the Lakewood community in these capacities. To attract new volunteers, the Board has participated in the Volunteer Tuition Credit Program established by the State of New Jersey. This program provides active volunteer fire service personnel, as well as their spouses and dependent children, with tuition credit to county educational institutions.
Individuals interested in becoming volunteer firefighters or support members are encouraged to visit the Lakewood Fire District website at lakewoodfd.org. Interested individuals can submit the requested information expressing their interest through the “Join the Lakewood Fire Department” link.