Police & Fire

New Firefighter Sworn In and Four Firefighters Honored at Springfield Township Committee Meeting

Mayor Stampoulos swearing in probationary firefighter Andrew Sonnet Credits: Ellen Dickson
Acting Captain Cocuzza, and firefighters Royland, Hydock and Cowper being honored for saving the life of Nina Matarazzo Credits: Ellen Dickson
Nina Matarazzo's husband, Anthony, thanks the firefighters Credits: Ellen Dickson

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Mayor Diane Stampoulos swore in probationary firefighter Andrew Sonnet Tuesday night. Chief Palumbo said, “Andrew comes to us from New Providence where he has already done his training. He is a 2008 graduate of Hew Providence High School and a 2012 graduate  of Eastern Connecticut State College with a Masters in Science.”

Acting Captain Cocuzza and firefighters Royland, Hydock, and Cowper were honored. On November 8, 2016 Nina Matarazzo collapsed in their Springfield home. The efforts of the family and the Springfield fire fighters brought her back and ultimately saved her life.  She had a 100% recovery.  Anthony and Nina were in the audience. Anthony stated, “On behalf of wife and family I would like to thank those who helped my wife and facilitated CPR.  If it had not been for their timely services my wife’s medical outcome would have been tragically different. She celebrated her birthday yesterday.”

Fire Chief Palumbo reported that three new radios have been purchased for the new communication system. The Township will be utilizing the State Police Tower. The Chief stated, “This is a huge step forward for our town. We no longer need to maintain our own tower. It will be a cost saving to the town.”

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Committeeman Huber pulled resolution 2017-69 for further discussion. This resolution is for the Proposed Redevelopment Plan for Block 205 lots 1 and 2 locally known as the Century 21 office.  This is the third redevelopment plan. The first two are the Gomes Property and the Church Mall.  After discussion it passed unanimously and referred to the Planning Board where it could be adopted in April.  Committeewoman Geri Bujnowski stated, “This is the gateway to our town center.  it is exciting to see the progress.”    The redevelopment plan for the Church Mall and Walnut Street will be heard at Wednesday night’s Planning Board meeting.

At the public comments portion of the meeting Erich H.W. Kussman, a minister from Holy Cross Lutheran Church, said he was “…concerned about the identity of Springfield.”  He said, “With the rise of racism and neo Nazis (nationally) we’ve lost the ability to talk to one another.”  He cited Black Lives Matter and the Blue Lives Matter movements. In his opinion, inner city neighborhoods feel the blue painted line is a symbol of racism. Township Committee woman Erica Du Bois commented that she too was worried about the “climate of the nation” and would be willing to work with him.

A resident of Short Hills Avenue came to the podium to discuss what he felt were hazardous traffic conditions in his neighborhood. He suggested different traffic calming measures to combat the speeding. Police Chief Cook said they are running radar checks on that intersection and to please call him for a longer discussion.

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