Monmouth fire academy graduates new firefighters

The Monmouth County Fire Academy, Howell, recently graduated 46 firefighters from the Firefighter I program. Graduates were divided into two classes: Class 104 and Class 105. Both ceremonies were held at the fire academy earlier this year.

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, according to a press release.

“Firefighting is more than public service or volunteerism; it is a calling, a way of life. You cannot put a price on it. It is your reputation, your integrity, your life,” Monmouth County Freeholder John P. Curley said in his address to the classes. “Every day from this day forward, you are now firefighters. You have earned our respect. On behalf of Monmouth County and the entire board of freeholders, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

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 Matthew LaVecchia, Class 104, of the Gordons Corner Fire Company, Manalapan, and to James Smith Sr., Class 105, of the Robertsville Fire Company, Marlboro.

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

“It takes a special type of person to be a firefighter,” Stryker said. “They have to have a passion to do this job. The graduates sitting before us have that passion because they have completed the rigorous training as their first step. Please be safe.”

The graduates from Firefighter 1 – Class 104 include Sean A. Brown, Manalapan Fire Department; Jonathan L. Caruso, Freehold Township Independent Fire Company; David K. Fazio, Gordons Corner Fire Company, Manalapan; Matthew LaVecchia, Gordons Corner Fire Company, Manalapan.

And, Robert M. Morris, Southard Fire Company, Howell; Matthew J. Nelson, Morganville Independent Fire Company, Marlboro; Michael J. Rogers, East Freehold Fire Company, Freehold Township; and Brian A. Zwickel, Southard Fire Company, Howell.

The graduates from Firefighter 1 – Class 105 include Kristopher Bassignana, Englishtown Fire Department; Austin G. Burke, Ramtown Fire Company, Howell; Robert V. Clarizio, Morganville Fire Company, Marlboro; Tim L. Curry, Roosevelt Fire Company; Michael J. Fiorino, Marlboro Fire Department; Brian M. Haas, Freehold Township Independent Fire Company; Jamie Jacoby, Colts Neck Fire Department.

And, Nicholas R. Krauss, Freehold Fire Department, Freehold Borough; Samuel P. Lopez, Roosevelt Fire Company; Andrew M. Malizioso, Englishtown Fire Department; Nicholas R. Milano, Robertsville Fire Company, Marlboro; Darius B. Newman, Millstone Township Fire Department; James M. Smith Sr., Robertsville Fire Company, Marlboro; John S. Stoya, Englishtown Fire Department; and Christopher V. Vitale, Adelphia Fire Company, Howell.