SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Fire Department has announced that John P. Bonczo was sworn in its newest member on September 2.  

Firefighter Bonczo started with the Summit Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter in the Hook & Ladder Company # 1 on November 14, 2011.  He has an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Ocean County College.  

Bonczo completed Firefighter I & II and earned the "Battalion Chief Ken Nocera Memorial Award for Outstanding Excellence" from the Union County Fire Academy in 2012.  In September, Firefighter Bonczo will be starting 10 weeks of training at the Essex County College Police Academy in Cedar Grove, NJ.

Prior to joining the Summit Fire Department, Bonczo worked as a plumber in an established family business.  He is a resident of Summit.
The Department also released a list of important instructions for citizens related to outdoor fire safety, for residents to consider while setting up and using a fire pit or chiminea.

The list includes:

  • Do not allow young children to use the fire pit. Keep children and pets away.
  • Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing such as nylon.
  • Keep the fire pit at least 15 feet from any structure.
  • Exercise the same precautions you would with an open fire.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.
  • Before starting the fire, make sure that the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency. Do not overload.
  • Before you light the fire, check the wind direction.
  • Do not use flammable fluids such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid to light or relight fires.
  • Keep away from flammable material and fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or vehicles while in use.
  • Do not burn trash, leaves, paper, cardboard, or plywood. Avoid using soft wood such as pine or cedar that likely pop and throw sparks. Use of seasoned hardwood is recommended.
  • If the smoke or odor of the fire creates a neighborhood nuisance, the Fire Department can (by fire code) require a fire to be extinguished.
Residents are encouraged to contact the Summit Fire Department at 908 / 277-1033 with any questions.