ELIZABETH, NJ - Salvador Barreto Jr. was promoted to Captain in the Elizabeth Fire Department after 28 years of service. He became a fireman on August 12, 1991, four days before the birth of his first child.
Barreto joined EFD a few years after moving to Elizabeth in the late 1980s. After hearing from a friend about a flyer on a telephone pole advertising that the Elizabeth Fire Department was hiring, Barreto says he went down to city hall to fill out an application.
“From there I never looked back,” said Barreto. “I always wanted to be a fireman as a young kid.”
In his time with the EFD, Barreto has had six captains above him who he says have each taught him something different about the position.
“When you’re a leader you have to lead by example,” said Barreto. “To show the young kids to do it the correct way, not the fastest way.”
Barreto also credits his mother with instilling in him the values that make a great fireman like respect, honesty and kindness.
Since becoming a fireman, Capt. Barreto’s brother and two nephews have followed him into the profession. He says that he is grateful to have found a career that allowed him to raise a family and be a part of a brotherhood of men who always have each other's backs.