Police & Fire

West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department Celebrate at Annual Awards Dinner

January 14, 2013 at 5:34 PM

WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, proved to be a very festive occasion for members of the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department, after what had been a very long and stress-filled month. Still in the process of assisting with the clean-up after Hurricane Sandy, crew members and their families and friends met for the annual Fire Department Awards Dinner.

Members of the Fire Department from both the past and present mingled with West Caldwell Township employees and mutual aid representatives. The event was held at  the Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Tom O’Hern, volunteer firefighter, directed the evening’s program. Speakers included Chief Jim Alvine, West Caldwell Fireman's Association President Megan Stout, Department Chaplain Bob Brenneck, and Mayor Joe Tempesta.

This past year, the department celebrated their 100th Anniversary; a tribute video was created especially for the event, and the audience enjoyed it immensely. Mountain Ridge Country Club was also recognized for their own 100th Anniversary in 2012.

Former Chief Jeff Mostwill was honored for his 50 years of service with the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department; this length of duty is the longest tenure of any living member.

Pictured from left to right are: Mayor Joe Tempesta, West Caldwell Firemen’s Association President, Megan Stout, Jeff Mostwill and Fire Chief Jim Alvine. Flanking Mostwill are all of the other award recipients that were recognized: Charles Krueser, Ben Hershkowitz, Rich Douglas, Chris Flint, Tom O’Hern, Karl Otterbein, Hugh Albanesius, Jared Fout, Megan Stout, Erik Otterbein, Tom King, Greg Table, and Bill Stickles. Credit: Terry Rogers

The other volunteers honored that night included:

  • 40 years
    Charles Krueser
  • 35 years
    Ben Hershkowitz
  • 25 years
    Rich Douglas
    Chris Flint
  • 20 years
    Tom O’Hern
  • 15 years
    Karl Otterbein
    Hugh Albanesius
  • 10 years
    Jared Fout
    Megan Stout
    Erik Otterbein
  • 5 years
    Tom King
    Greg Table
    Bill Stickles

Charles Krueser was honored for 40 years of service with the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department. Pictured from left to right are: Chief Jim Alvine, Charles Krueser and Association President, Megan Stout. Credit: Terry Rogers

Every living Fire Chief that has served the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department was in attendance at West Caldwell Fire Department’s annual awards dinner. Charles Holden was honored for his services as Fire Chief; a position he held from 2006 to 2011.

Pictured from left to right: Chief Joe Theobald, Chief Jean Wypler, Chief John Medina, Chief Charles Holden, Chief Jim Alvine, Chief Jock Watkins and Chief Jeff Mostwill.
Credit: Terry Rogers

A solemn moment occurred when “Amazing Grace” was played by bagpiper, Jack McGarry, to honor the fire department members that passed away in 2012:

Jack McGarry, member of the Essex County Emerald Society Police and Fire Pipe Band Credit: Terry Rogers

The fire department was recognized as providing a combined total of over 300 years of service for 16 members.

Special recognition was also given that evening to the Hebrank family for allowing the fire department to utilize storage space at their business during the firehouse construction.

From left to right: Chief Jim Alvine, Michael Hebrank, Bob Hebrank, Brian Hebrank, Rob Hebrank Jr. and Association President Megan Stout. Credit: Terry Rogers

Lastly, Vincent Graziosa and Jock Watkins Jr. were recognized for appreciation of their service after they announced their retirement from the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department.

For further information:
West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department
Chief Jim Alvine
6 Fairfield Avenue
West Caldwell, NJ  07006


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