Police & Fire

Millburn Township Committee Swears in New Fire Chief and Honors Outgoing Chief

Robert Echavarria is sworn in as Chief of the Fire Department. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Newly sworn in Chief Echavarria gets a hug from his youngest son after taking his oath of office. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Chief Robert Echavarria with his wife Sarah and sons Robert, Ryan and Christian. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Retiring Chief J. Michael Roberts honored at Township Committee meeting. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Retiring Chief J. Michael Roberts and Committeeman Robert Tillotson Credits: Karen E. Hughes

MILLBURN, NJ - The Township Committee meeting opened to a packed house on Tuesday evening to welcome new Fire Chief Robert Echavarria and to honor departing Chief J. Michael Roberts. Echavarria assumes the mantle of Chief after a long career with the Millburn Fire Department. Business Administrator Alex McDonald gave a brief history of Echavarria's numerous accomplishments as a 22 year veteran of the department.  

A resident since eight years old Echavarria joined the Millburn Fire Department as a volunteer a year after graduating Millburn High School. Later he was promoted to Fire Captain and then as Fire Marshall where he was in charge of fire prevention for the township. During his tenure as Marshall, he worked tirelessly to enhance the fire education program and set up the juvenile fire centers program among a lengthy lists of other accomplishments. 

He then returned to the line as Company Officer, and in June 2007 was named Battalion Chief assuming the role of Corp Commander. Taking on the role of Deputy OEM Coordinator in 2016 he achieved the New Jersey certified managers designation. For the past year he also took on the administrative Chief duties and worked with departing Chief Roberts in preparation for this transition of power. 

Sign Up for E-News

Echavarria's accolades extend beyond the fire house. He is also an New Jersey certified EMT, Fire Inspector, and Fire Official as well as  Certified Public Manager and is a member of the Metro Strike Team and Urban Security Initiative. 

After a swift and unanimous vote by the Township Committee on his appointment, Echavarria was joined by his wife Sarah who held the Bible for his oath of office as his three sons Robert, Ryan and Christian looked on as he was sworn in as Fire Chief. His father Edgar, sister Yvette and fellow firefighter brother Edgar all were on hand among the standing room only crowd for the occasion.  After the swearing in his wife pinned on his new shield to another round of thunderous applause. 

Chief Gilfedder from the Millburn Police Department joined Fire Chiefs from many surrounding towns including Livingston, Hillside and Maplewood to send off Roberts and welcome Echavarria.

The swearing in followed a tribute and proclamation to honor the departing Fire Chief J. Michael Roberts. With his wife Mary Ellen, son Allen and daughter Melissa in the audience among other friends and family, Roberts received the accolades from Committeeman Robert Tillotson.

Roberts remarked "I do want to thank the Township Committee, many of which I worked with over the years, my good friend and former boss Tim Gordon and of course Alex McDonald who have helped me throughout. Leadership starts at the top and it truly starts at the Township Committee and Township Administrator, and I do want to thank you for that." He also joked that he hoped the new street was going to be named for him. 

"I want to thank you all very much," Roberts concluded, "and I'm glad we are promoting Rob so we can fill the room with people."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Merry Christmas from TAPinto Millburn-Short Hills

December 24, 2017

MILLBURN, NJ - The staff at TAPinto Millburn-Short Hills wish all our readers who celebrate a Merry Christmas.  

Millburn Police Investigate Theft by Nordstrom Employee

February 14, 2018

Press Release February 13, 2018


On February 6, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Royce stopped a 2009 Jaguar XKR as it exited the mall for having no front plate. The investigation led to the arrest of 50 year old Christopher Garibian of Morristown on an outstanding traffic warrant out of Morris Township. Mr. Garibian was placed under arrest, issued summonses, and released after posting ...


AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!


Upcoming Events


Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School , Summit

New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra Free ...

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School, Summit

Come to NJIO's Winter Concert on Sunday, February ...

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, February 19, 7:45 PM

Education Center, Millburn

Millburn Board of Education Meeting

Millburn Township Republican County Committee Call for Potential Candidates

February 17, 2018

Registered Republicans interested in serving our community are encouraged to run for the single open Township Committee seat in the 2018 election.  The Millburn Township Republican County Committee invites prospective candidates to arrange an interview by contacting Chairwoman, Mary McNett, at 973-376-3345 or via e-mail at mary.mcnett @gmail.com.

Ms. McNett noted ...

Harry Connick, Jr. to Appear in the World-Premiere Production of "The Sting"

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, has announced that Harry Connick, Jr. will star as Henry Gondorff in the world-premiere production of The Sting.  The musical is based on the 1973 film, and will have its world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse for a limited run from March ...

Millburn Church to Host Renowned Organist Christopher Houlihan

On Sunday, February 18, at 4 pm Christopher Houlihan, hailed as “dazzling” by the Wall Street Journal, will play the renowned Baroque-style Beckerath tracker organ at St. Stephen’s Church, 119 Main Street, Millburn, New Jersey, in a program featuring works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Louis Vierne, and Leo Sowerby.   Mr. Houlihan will offer his own ...