MADISON, NJ - Super heroes come in all shapes and sizes, they also come in big red trucks with loud sirens.
Madison’s Fire Chief Lou DeRosa is one of these many super heroes.
Born and raised in Madison DeRosa has been with the Madison Fire Department for 39 years. DeRosa started as a volunteer with the Department when he was 18 years old in 1977.
He was then hired in 1983 as a fire fighter, appointed captain in 1991, and has been the chief since 2010.
“It’s every child’s dream to play with trucks and stuff, but honestly I never set out to get to where I am,” DeRosa said.
DeRosa was a licensed contractor and electrician by trade before he began his fire service journey.
“It all started in the summer of 1977 my next door neighbor who was a volunteer… I saw him go racing off to a fire call one day and it kind of tweaked my interest a little bit. I started talking to him about it and the rest as they say is history.”
Volunteering was fun and very rewarding for DeRosa.
“I was enjoying it. When the opportunity came up to join the career vision I put my application in,” DeRosa said.
Although he didn’t get hired the first time he applied he didn’t give up.
After a second application and DeRosa was given the job.
“It’s a labor I love. I tell people I don’t go to work every day I go to the fire house.”
As chief, DeRosa deals with issues in training, apparatus, personnel, fire, and other emergencies.
“There is no normal day. That’s probably one of the things that I love about the job. Everyday there’s a new challenge that gets thrown at you. You really have to be able to think on your feet and I think I do a pretty good job at that,” DeRosa said.
DeRosa couldn’t do his job without his team.
“The job is very rewarding in the fact of assisting people in a time of need, but it’s also great to work with fabulous people too. The successes that I’ve had in my career so far, and hopefully (will) continue to have is all predicated on the people that are around me. We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we always strive to do the good thing and the right thing by others and for each other,” DeRosa said.
The Madison Fire Department is continually looking for new volunteers and future fire fighters.
If interested in volunteering visit: Madisonfd.com where you can find applications, and requirements and expectations.
Madison fire fighters are very active in the community.
“We don’t just want your name on a piece of paper,” DeRosa said.