Firefighter earns kudos at graduation

 Darlene Burke-Bergeron Darlene Burke-Bergeron JACKSON — Graduation ceremonies were held at the Ocean County Fire and EMS Training Center, Waretown, on June 23. Firefighter Darlene “Dee” Burke- Bergeron of the Cassville Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, of Jackson, along with firefighters from all over Ocean County celebrated their successful completion of Firefighter Level I certification and basic training.

According to a press release, Bergeron earned top honors, receiving the Robert Fiore Award for Excellence, one of three top awards given to academy recruits.

“Darlene completed a course which currently takes about six months of two nights a week and most weekends to complete, which in itself, as a volunteer, is quite an awesome commitment,” said John I. Alchevsky, chief of department at Cassville,

“On several occasions, in conferring with the academy instructors, they continually mentioned Darlene’s hard work, dedication, willingness to learn, and how she was always willing to help her fellow recruits. I found that very impressive. We are proud to have her,” Alchevsky said.

Alchevsky, along with Burke-Bergeron’s husband, firefighter Jean Paul Bergeron III (also of Cassville), awarded Burke-Bergeron her certificate and new badges, as well as the Fiore award.

The Cassville Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 protects 65 square miles of southern and northwestern Jackson and is staffed by more than 30 active volunteer firefighters. For more information about the fire company, upcoming events and fundraisers, or to volunteer, visit the Internet website at