Police & Fire

John Lestarchick Sworn in as Scotch Plains Fire Chief

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith congratulates John Lestarchick with a firm handshake after swearing him in as Fire Chief of the Township of Scotch Plains. Credits: Sean Conklin
John Lestarchick gives his daughter a kiss on the cheek after being sworn in as Scotch Plains Fire Chief. Credits: Sean Conklin
Township Manager Al Mirabella (right) congratulates John Lestarchick after being sworn in. Credits: Sean Conklin
John Lestarchick was joined by his family and several fellow firefighters as he was sworn in by Mayor Al Smith on Sunday evening. Credits: Sean Conklin
John Lestarchick was sworn in as Deputy Chief of the Scotch Plains Fire Department in April 2015. Credits: Sean Conklin
John Lestarchick responds to a fire call in this undated photo. Credits: Photo provided by John Lestarchick
John Lestarchick pictured with his fellow firefighters. Credits: Photo provided by John Lestarchick
Credits: Photo provided by John Lestarchick

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- John Lestarchick was joined by his wife and two children as he was sworn in as Scotch Plains Fire Chief on Sunday evening at Scotch Hills Golf Course before the Independence Day fireworks display. 

For the last 32 years, he has been a member of the Scotch Plains Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. Lestarchick had been promoted to deputy chief two years ago and he had been serving as a Union County fire coordinator responding to multiple-alarm fires since 2014.

"It's a little overwhelming, but I'm anxious to get into the groove and put my spin on things,” said Lestarchick, who is a second generation Scotch Plains fireman. “I’m just looking forward to getting to work and excited to get going.”

Sign Up for E-News

He had great praise for his fellow comrades as he assumes an administrative position to support their efforts.

"The volunteers are the ones leaving their families (to serve the Township),” added Lestarchick. “It's my duty to keep them safe and engaged. I’m looking forward to embracing my connection with the membership and being in a position to assist them in the direction they want to go.

Lestarchick was sworn in by Mayor Al Smith. He succeeds Jonathan Ellis, who served as chief for the Township for the last three decades. 

“We will miss Chief John Ellis, who has retired after 30 years of service, but we are so proud that Chief John Lestarchick will replace him,” said  Mayor Smith. “John is a dedicated, qualified, and outstanding fireman. Scotch Plains is in good hands with Chief Lestarchick, and it was truly my honor to swear him in during our Independence Day celebration.”

TAPintoSPF.net is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

Send a Message to Nick Scutari and His Cronies: Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start.

To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million County ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Union County Seeks Caring, Compassionate Volunteer Advocates

July 20, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Union County residents who are looking for a unique way to give back to the community can apply to volunteer with the Union County Rape Crisis Center. Volunteers at the Rape Crisis Center provide judgement-free guidance for victims of sexual violence through a phone hotline. They may also accompany victims in person, to help them navigate medical, legal and law enforcement ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...



Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM


Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza