CRANFORD, NJ – Cranford Fire Department had six new recruits graduate from the Union County Fire Training Academy, Wednesday at Union County College.

Call Firefighters: Ray Lora, Nicolas Downey, Charlie Hallax, Ed Conte, Jason Cruz and Rob Petrick. In addition, Call Firefighter Karolyn Buckridee completed her training at the Middlesex County Fire Academy last month and will be part of the Cranford squad.

The seven each completed more than 200 hours of training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials, incident command, and fire operations in a physically and mentally challenging para-military program.

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Cranford Fire Chief Dan Czeh was in attendance at the graduation on Wednesday evening, which included fire recruits from the fall and spring semesters at the Union County Fire Academy.

Call Firefighters, Jason Cruz, received both of the Union County Fire Academy’s distinctions for performance and leadership. Cruz received the Battalion Chief Ken Nocera Memorial Award for Outstanding Excellence in Firefighter 1 and also the Ben Laganga leadership award for demonstrating a commitment to public service and leadership throughout the class. “We are thrilled to have him win these awards,” said Czeh.

Each of these seven members will now serve the Township of Cranford in the role of Call Firefighter;  a volunteer firefighter who supplements our career staff at major emergencies, storm events, and large public events.

Call Firefighters also have the opportunity to ride-along with the on-duty shift and attend two training drills a month with our career staff. Jason Cruz and Karolyn Buckridee are also Emergency Medical Technicians with our EMS Division.

Pictured: Union County Freeholders Vernell Wright, Bette Jane Kowalski and Alexander Mirabella congratulate Jason Cruz of the Cranford Fire Department

(Photo by Jim Lowey/County of Union)