“It is with great pleasure Lakewood Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners and Lakewood Fire Chief Mike D’Elia announce that Firefighter Recruit Eli Bursztyn (from Lakewood Junior Hose Co. #3) has completed Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 Training, graduating from the Toms River Fire Academy,” the Board of Fire Commissioners said. “In addition to this achievement, Eli received the “Milan Spike Baran Award” for receiving the highest overall score in the 2017 Recruit Firefighter Class.”
The Spike Baran Award is named after former Fire Academy Director, Milan “Spike” Baran. Chief Baran served the East Dover Fire Company as Chief; he also served as the District Chief for Toms River Fire District No. 1. Spike served as a fire instructor, deputy fire academy director and at the time of his death was the fire academy director. Spike’s untimely passing in 1999 left a big void to fill at the academy. The fire instructors came together and decided to create an award in Spikes name that reflected his dedication to the academy and to his great love of training and education; thus the Spike Baran Award was established. The award is presented to the best and brightest recruit from each graduating class. The first award was presented in 2001.
Firefighter 1 is the first level of a progressive program that introduces the novice firefighter to the basics of nationally recognized firefighting techniques. This intense 159-hour course includes classroom theory as well as skill oriented “hands‑on” drill sessions. Student performance is evaluated throughout the course which includes mid‑term and final exams, both written and practical.
Firefighter 2 is a 108‑hour course designed to provide the knowledge and skill to operate at an emergency scene with minimal supervision. This course includes lessons in structural fire attack, flammable liquids and gases firefighting, foam operations, confined space and technical rescue awareness, low angle rope rescue, motor vehicle extrication, firefighter survival, basic first aid and Incident Management.
The recruitment of Firefighters is ongoing and the Lakewood Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners, along with Lakewood Fire Chief of Department Mike D’Elia, continue to seek individuals who have a desire to serve the Lakewood Community as Volunteer Firefighters.
Firefighting requires courage, dedication and a willingness to learn new skills and face new challenges. As a probationary Firefighter, you will receive fire academy as well as ongoing training, equipment, uniforms and a pager at no personal expense.
“The personal rewards and satisfaction of becoming a firefighter are often beyond description,” says the Board. “Whether battling fires, mitigating many and varied emergency situations or teaching fire safety to others, the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment are enormous.”
(You can contact the Lakewood Fire District at 732-364-5151 x6102 or x6104 for more information or visit the Fire District website lakewoodfd.org and follow the “Join the Lakewood Fire Department” link.)