BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Grover Connell, patriarch of the Connell family, accepted a plaque on Thursday from Fire Chief Anthony Padovano honoring The Connell Company for its support of the fire department.

The plaque, which was created by Ed May, who does the gold leafing on the township's fire trucks, reads, "In Grateful Recognition And Appreciation Of Your Years Of Generous Donations And Continued Support To The Berkeley Heights Fire Department."

Padovano, who was accompanied by Deputy Chief Jim Hopkins and Captain Jan Chwiedosiuk, presented the plaque to Grover Connell on the fourth floor of 200 Connell Drive, in Connell's office. Padovano said, "As chief of department, my goals are, first, to provide our residents and all those who travel within our township the highest level of service possible through training and equipment. Second, that after each and every incident, every one of my firefighters goes home. The Connell family has helped our department achieve both of these goals."

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Connell responded, "You deserve this support."

Concurring with Connell's comments were three members of Grover Connell's family, Terry, Duane and Shane, who attended the brief ceremony.

Padovano said the department "is the busiest fire department in Union County," with between 600 and 700 incidents each year.

Terry Connell said, "Our office park adds to your work load." To which Padovano replied with a smile on his face, "Mostly for drills."

Padovano said calls to the department are at "an all time high ... and we reach out to you folks to help us." Because of help from The Connell Company, "Our town is safer."

The plaque, which features an image of The Connell Company headquarters drawn by May, also has gold leaf lettering and decorations throughout. All the work was done by May.