SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Representatives of Seton Hall University paid a visit to the South Orange Fire Department on Friday to drop off six laptop computers and two tablets that the school has donated to the department.

Dennis Garbini, Seton Hall’s Vice President of Administration, and John Signorelli, SHU AVP, made the presentation to Fire Chief Jeff Markey outside the fire station.

“The Fire Department is very grateful to Seton Hall University for their generosity,” said Chief Markey.  “Technology has become a key tool in keeping our citizens safe and keeping firefighters safe as well.”

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Representatives of village government were also on hand for the presentation.

“This is very exciting,” said Village President Alex Torpey.  “And it represents the kind of relationship between Seton Hall and the Village we like to see.  We appreciate the generosity of the University in bringing this technology to the department.”

Trustee Sheena Collum, Village Administrator Barry Lewis and Asistant Administrator Adam Loehner were also on hand to celebrate the event.

Mr. Garbini explained that the very first donation of technology by SHU to the fire department came in 2003, inspired by a conversation he had then with Chief Markey.

“The Chief told me that some town’s fire departments were starting to use new technology that enabled them to see the layout and floorplans of buildings they were rushing to, which would enable them to better fight the fires ,” Garbini said.  That year, SHU donated two Panasonic Toughbooks that would allow Markey’s firefighters to do just that.

This year’s donation included four Panasonic Toughbooks, two Windows 8 Laptops and Two Windows 8 Tablets.  At the scene of an emergency, they will use the equipment to access floor plans and response plans.   Additionally, inspection personnel may record data during their inspections. This hardware is designed to be resistant to heat, water, smoke, and harsh work environments.  

"With this equipment, we will be on the cutting edge," Chief Markey said.  "We will be able to digitally map the buildings in town.  It wasn't that long ago that we had to use notebooks and flash cards."