PATERSON, NJ - Even the briefest conversation with Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott reveals the immense pride he has not just in being a career firefighter, but also for the Paterson Fire Department itself.

On Wednesday, that pride was on display again as he and several of his command staff, along with Mayor Andre Sayegh and Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale, welcomed the delivery of 10 new vehicles, known as “gigs” to their inventory.

Eight of the vehicles will be used for incident response by Tour Commanders and Battalion Chiefs while the other two will be used for fire inspectors to carry out their daily routine duties. All are fitted with critical incident response equipment including breathing apparatus and tourniquets.

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In pointing out the features of the new vehicles McDermott directed attention to the color scheme and detailing of the vehicles, both of which hearken back to “traditional” firefighting colors and a uniformity among Department apparatus. He further revealed his attention to fiscal responsibility saying that the lease-purchase nature of the transaction makes sense for the city’s bottom line.

The new vehicles, McDermott added, means that older vehicles will be put to use by other departments, including the Department of Public Works, a strategy that insures that the city not only gets the most out of their spending, but also shows a new level of cooperation with the Sayegh Administration that all points back to “getting the job done for the residents we serve in the most cost effective way possible.

Kyle Hughes, president of FMBA Local 2, also commented on the importance of recognizing the history that exists within the fire service, and McDermott’s efforts to keep it alive, when he said that “tradition is what the fire service thrives on, it boosts pride and camaraderie of the members.”

“It’s nice to have a Chief who continues to keep it going.”

The vehicles also match ones recently acquired by the Paterson Police Department meaning both can benefit from bulk purchasing of necessary parts such as spare tires.

With the photo op over and the alarm sounding for another possible response McDermott headed back into fire headquarters while Speziale, who has recently had jurisdiction over the fire department added to his portfolio as Public Safety Director, heaped praise his way.

“Chief McDermott has taught me so much,” Speziale said before adding that he is “a great firefighter, a great chief, and a great mentor.”


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Editor’s Note: The publisher of TAPinto Paterson also serves as a spokesman for Paterson FMBA Local 2