MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Fire Department promoted three officers this week, including its first female officer, officials announced.

During a swearing-in ceremony held last week, Imelda Muench-Puryear was promoted to Lieutenant, becoming the Department’s first female officer. She is a graduate of Montclair State University (1983) and the Rome Free Academy in New York (1978).

Muench-Puryear became a Montclair firefighter in 1996, and has served as a fire inspector with the department. 

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Also promoted were Robert Pizzuti and John Grapes. Pituzzi was promoted to Battalion Chief and has been with the MFD since 1981. In 1998, he was promoted to Lieutenant and then to Captain in 2008.

Pizzuti comes from a long line of public safety servants in Montclair. Battalion Chief Pizzuti is a second-generation firefighter at the Department. His father is former Fire Chief Robert PIzzuti, Sr. who retired from the force in 2000. The Battalion Chief’s son, is also currently a Firefighter with the department and former Montclair Deputy Chief of Police Tracy Frazzano is his sister.

During the ceremony, Grapes was promoted to Captain. Captain Grapes is a third-generation Montclair Firefighter. He is the son of retired Deputy Chief Ronald Grapes (2000) and his grandfather Hugh Grapes retired as a Captain in 1979. Captain Grapes joined the Department in 1990 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2007.