MORRIS COUNTY,NJ- More than 90 future Morris County and North Jersey firefighters graduated recently from the 2015 Fire Fighter 1 summer classes at the Morris County Fire Training Academy in Parsippany, preparing them to join the ranks of vitally needed firefighters in Morris County.
The participants were part of three separate graduating classes, including two that featured junior firefighters, ages 16 to 18, who are the future backbone of firefighting teams here in Morris and neighboring counties.
The other class comprised adults, 18 and older, who are willing to sacrifice their time and efforts to help their communities.
“You are great assets to our county, filling a public service need that benefits every resident, which helps make our residents safer and more secure, and helps make Morris County, and other nearby counties, great places to live and work here in New Jersey,’’ Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo told the graduates at the Aug. 22 graduation ceremony at the Parsippany PAL facility.
“It is not easy to get up in the dark on a freezing cold winter morning when the alarm sounds, or to run from your job during a busy work day to respond to a fire or emergency situation … to give of yourself to help people in danger and great need,’’ she added.
The graduates represented 22 municipalities in Morris County: Boonton Township, Chatham, Chester, Florham Park, Jefferson, Hanover, Harding, Lincoln Park, Long Hill, Mendham Borough, Mine Hill, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany, Pequannock, Randolph, Rockaway Township, Roxbury, and Washington Township.
There also were graduates from 10 towns in Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex and Union counties.
“We are especially thankful to have so many graduates in this year’s summer class, who will be joining the firefighter ranks,’’ said Freeholder Doug Cabana, the county governing board’s liaison on law and public safety issued. “We give you thanks in advance for your future service,’’ Cabana added.
The 189-hour summer firefighter program was design by Morris County and has been fully booked every summer since its inception in 2003, according to Morris County Fire Marshall and Fire Training Coordinator Lou Pepe, who along with now-retired Morris County Fire Training Coordinator Jack Alderton developed the junior firefighter program in Morris County as a first of its kind in the state.
For junior graduates, now in college or about to enroll, the firefighting classes can earn up to six college credits.
For more information on firefighter training in Morris County, visit: http://www.morrisacademy.org/fire/findex.asp