BAYONNE, NJ - When President Donald Trump visited Jersey City’s Liberty National Golf Club in 2017 the Secret Service had at least one “safe house” in mind if a security threat arose.
As local officials led by Mayor Jimmy Davis and Bayonne Fire Chief Keith Weaver officially rededicated the rehabilitated 57th Street Fire House on Monday Deputy Fire Chief Bill Bartos recalled his concerns with the decision to bring the most powerful man in the world to that location in the event of what would amount to a national emergency.
Was the structure sound enough to meet the lofty expectations that come with protecting the nation's leader, Bartos wondered aloud, and was a shower meant for possible decontamination usable if President Trump was also exposed to a leaking roof overhead?
Those concerns have been alleviated Weaver officially announced, thanks to a $1 million makeover, not so the more than 90-year-old firehouse can be prepared for such a drastic situation, but so members of the Bayonne Fire Department can adequately do their jobs of protecting local residents.
Calling the overhaul, which included the installation of a new roof and replacement of the floors, a “true team effort”, Weaver said the project saved the taxpayers millions of dollars as the critical repairs were much more cost effective than the $4 to $5 million estimates to build a brand-new firehouse.
“We made a commitment when we came in to office that we weren’t going to kick the can down the road anymore,” Davis said. “There is nothing more important than public safety, and we need to make sure to give (first responders) everything they need to get the job done right.”
Davis, who served as a police officer for 28 years would later tell TAPinto Bayonne that the completion of the project was especially meaningful as he knows firsthand how important it is that when the men and women of public safety go to work they have the tools, training, and equipment to “go home to their families” after every shift.
Saying that those that serve in the reopened firehouse are affectionately known as the “Fightin" 57th Battalion Chief Jack Dunne suggested that while he and his colleagues will “always get the job done, no matter what it takes,” the updated facility, as well as the new engine that was also dedicated at the ceremony shows the firefighters that “our leadership cares about our safety.”
“Morale is high,” Dunne said, adding that “this gives us the opportunity to be the best that we can be.”
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