Dear Editor:

Saving lives is what we do.

Firefighters are most often depicted as the men and women running into burning buildings, beating back smoke and flames, and risking our own lives to save others. While that depiction is accurate, there’s a lot more to it than that.

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For members of the Paterson Fire Department, under the leadership of Fire Chief Brian McDermott, each time we report for a shift in any firehouse across Paterson we are tasked with asking ourselves “what can I do today to make our community better.”

Over the past several weeks, as has been the case for the last seven Octobers, we have answered that question partially by raising funds to increase awareness of breast cancer, and, in partnership with the St. Joseph’s University Medical Center Foundation, to support research into its cause, and care for those battling back the disease.

There are too few of us, whether in firefighting or not, that have watched a woman we love, our wives, mothers, sisters, aunts, and close friends, fight breast cancer bravely. Now, with more women joining the ranks of the fire service, a traditionally male-dominated workplace has, rightly, became even more sensitive to the struggles that so many face. 

It is with these women in mind that I am so proud of the efforts of our members that are out every day selling t-shirts, car magnets, and more, to increase the total amount we’ve raised and donated since our campaign began in 2011 to over $100,000! This is no easy task, but with the hard work of so many, and the generosity of so many more, I know we’ll meet this goal, together!

I encourage you to please visit and make a purchase today!


Kyle Hughes


FMBA Local 2