Lakewood Fire Department to add 4 career firefighters

The Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners today announced that Lakewood Fire District No. 1 is in the process of adding four career firefighters to the Lakewood Fire Department and promoting three fire officers from within the Department.

“The goal is to have the additional firefighters and officers in place shortly after the New Year, increasing the number of career personnel from twelve to sixteen,” the Board of Fire Commissioners said. “At that time each crew or platoon will be comprised of three firefighters and one fire officer. In addition, beginning November 19, 2017, the career firefighters will respond as a complete Fire Firefighting Unit from Station 74 which is located at 735 Cedarbridge Avenue. The realignment of working hours, addition of four personnel and the reduction of overtime has allowed the Fire Department to move forward without additional costs to taxpayers.”

Some additional benefits as a result of these changes are as follows:

*Enhance the provision of fire protection and fire suppression to the community.
*Comply with provisions of the Incident Command System and provide proper supervision on the emergency scene.
*Allow the firefighting crew to operate as an intact team thereby providing for improved safety of citizens as well as emergency personnel.
*Provide for immediate access to major fire routes.
*Provide for a quick response to emergency incidents considering the traffic patterns in the Township.
*Proximity to Life Hazards – Senior Residences, Lakewood Airport, Industrial areas, etc.
*Proactive response to current as well as future development.

“It is important to mention, the Fire District has added seven volunteer firefighters this year to their active volunteer firefighting force of 78 members. Furthermore, recruitment of volunteer firefighters and fire-police remains ongoing and the Lakewood Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners, along with Lakewood Fire Department Fire Chief Mike D’Elia, continue to seek individuals who have a desire to serve the Lakewood Community in one of these capacities. Individuals interested in becoming firefighters or fire-police are encouraged to visit the Fire District Website at and submit the requested information expressing their interest through the “Join the Lakewood Fire Department” link.

The Fire Commissioners and Administrative Staff, along with District Professionals, have worked tirelessly to address fire service needs so as to efficiently and effectively maximize fire protection within the community. This has been accomplished within the fiscal constraints of the taxpayers. The Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners will continue to address the changing needs of the community and its expanding population and development. In closing, the electorate at the November 7, 2017, General Election, affirmatively voted for Denise Gregory to fill the three-year term as Fire Commissioner. The Board of Fire Commissioners look forward to working with Commissioner-Elect Gregory.”

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  1. Nice, now our property taxes get to go up to cover the salaries of these 4 new paid firefighters. I am sure they will be hiring more in the near future as well. Its a shame, what the board is doing to the volunteer side.

    • Surprised,

      This is being done at NO additional cost to the tax payer.

      “The realignment of working hours, addition of four personnel and the reduction of overtime has allowed the Fire Department to move forward without additional costs to taxpayers.”

      As Volunteers, (I am a volunteer), we can’t reasonably and safely cover a town of this size and density that is only continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. By default, Volunteers can not provide an immediate and prompt response time. We all have our own jobs and schedules and that means more time is needed to get to the fire house to pick up the fire engine before responding to the scene. (…and, no, going directly to a scene in our personal vehicles serves no purpose as we can’t do anything without the the trucks and equipment..) Some of us can’t respond all the time, especially those who may be working out of town at the time. We are Volunteers, after all, we aren’t sitting at the fire house or at home waiting for calls to come in.

      A town this size must have properly staffed career crews that can respond immediately and provide safe coverage while waiting for the volunteer companies to arrive. Adding additional career personnel, at NO additional cost, is simple common sense and only benefits our town. As the town grows, so does the call volume. Multiple calls come in simultaneously and with the current set up the career will take one or two calls leaving the other calls to the Volunteers. This means a longer response time to those calls and that is not always a good thing.

      The Board of Fire Commissioners is not “doing” anything to the Volunteer side. The Volunteers will always be needed and appreciated. The Board is taking the necessary and required action, as determined by insurance and firefighting protocols. Maintaining a majority Volunteer Fire Dept along with a skeleton career crew is not going be enough much longer. We need to look ahead to the future. The Board is making the right decision.

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