Firefighters mark graduation

The Monmouth County Fire Academy recently graduated 38 firefighters from the Firefighter I program.

Graduates were divided into two classes: Class 102 graduated on June 24, and Class 103 graduated on June 25. Both ceremonies were held at the Monmouth County Fire Academy, Route 33, Howell.

According to a press release, graduates worked 188 hours over 30 sessions and received training in rescue; fire extinguishment; hazardous materials response; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; electrical safety; and care of hoses, ladders and other equipment.

“Tonight, you become members of one of America’s greatest creations: organized firefighting,” Freeholder John P. Curley said in his address to the classes. “You will answer the call and place your lives on the line to save someone else’s life and property because that is what you are trained to do. And you received the best training available from the instructors at this academy.”

A graduate from each class earned an award in honor of Ronald Fitzpatrick, a former instructor at the fire academy who died in 2003. The awards went to Robert M. Ryan, Class 102, of the Spring Lake Fire Company No. 2, and John H. Harold, Class 103, of the Englishtown Fire Company.

Monmouth County Fire Marshal Henry Stryker III congratulated the graduates and urged them to continue their training with advanced courses that are offered at the fire academy.

“By virtue of becoming a volunteer firefighter, you have already gone above and beyond the call of duty. Be assured it is not something we forget or take lightly,” Curley said. “You all are a credit to Monmouth County and to the towns and people you serve. We salute you and thank you for protecting us.”

Members of Class 102 included Theodore N. Apostle, East Freehold Fire Company, Freehold Township; Nick A. Badamo, Freehold Fire Department, Freehold Borough; Anthony Panzarino, East Freehold Fire Company, Freehold Township; and Kelley M. Temple, Freehold Independent Fire Company, Freehold Township.

Members of Class 103 included James J. Clarke, Millhurst Fire Company, Manalapan; James J. Donahue, Freewood Acres Fire Company, Howell; John H. Harold, Englishtown Fire Company; Adam F. Lerner, Freewood Acres Fire Company, Howell; Peter J. Maresma, Millhurst Fire Company, Manalapan; and Matthew Milich, Freewood Acres Fire Company, Howell.