WEST ORANGE, NJ - The town council meeting was packed to celebrate the promotion of West Orange firefighters on Tuesday.

Fire Chief Peter Smeraldo and Mayor Robert Parisi were in attendance to consummate the promotion of two firefighters to a higher rank, as well as the swearing in of a new generation of firefighters.

Recruits William Wagner and Leon Sederwall were sworn in as probationary firefighters. Current firefighter Stephen Ameli was then promoted to the rank of Fire Captain. 

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One of his first hires, Smeraldo had glowing words for Ameli. 

“Steve is an exceptional person,” he said. “He is detailed in his reports, in his job, and in all of his abilities as a firefighter.” 

Smeraldo said that he can count on Ameli on scene and at the firehouse to give his best effort. In his new position, Smeraldo said that “his [Ameli’s] leadership skills will be put to the test, and he is up for the challenge.”

Lastly, current Fire Captain Albert Souza, III was promoted to the second highest rank of Deputy Fire Chief. Smeraldo noted Souza’s passion for the job. 

“He loves being a firefighter and captain,” he said. “He is prepared for the job. I am very happy to know that Al will be serving as the second highest rank of this department.”

All resolutions were passed, with none being pulled for further discussion. 

A brief public hearing for the 2015 Municipal Budget also took place, with no public comment being made. 

Save the Dates

Parisi then announced that May 15-16 will officially be “Relay for Life Day.” On Friday, May 15, at 6:00 p.m., the Relay for Life event will commence at West Orange High School. At the event, teams will camp out and take turns walking (or running) around a track or path in order to raise money and awareness for cancer. 

Mayor Parisi then honored the nurses of West Orange by announcing that May 6-12 will be Nurses’ Week. Public Health Nurse Loucel Osias and Senior Public Health Nurse Susain Iovino were in attendance to receive the honor. 

The next Town Council meeting will be held on May 12 at 6:30 p.m. All residents are invited to attend.