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Happy Easter
Sunday, April 5, 2015 
All members of the Hawthorne Volunteer Fire Department would like to wish everyone and their families a Happy and Safe Easter.

Mutual Aid to Glen Rock
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 
On Saturday March 21st at approximately 1:00am the Glen Rock Fire Department was dispatched to 26 Dean St for a reported fire in the bedroom. Glen Rock Chief 830 arrived and reported a working fire with heavy fire showing and quickly requested a 2nd alarm. Engine 4 along with Chief Speranza and the remainder of the 2nd alarm companies (Ridgewood Engine 31, Midland Park Engine, and Fair Lawn Engine 4) responded directly into the scene. Engine 4's crew arrived and assisted the Glen Rock crews who needed relief inside the home. No injuries were reported thanks to working smoke detectors that were installed in all necessary areas and both the batteries and detectors were all up to date. For any questions on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, click the Fire Prevention section or call the Fire Marshal.

Bill and Chris Tompkins Photo's
Smoke detector found during overhaul. This detector was still working properly. (Courtesy of GRFD)
   Smoke detector found during overhaul.
      This detector was still working
      properly. (Courtesy of GRFD)
Smoke and CO detector tips
   Smoke and CO detector tips
Members take part in Mutual Aid Drills
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 
On Sunday morning members of Rescue 5 attended a drill at Montclair State University where the Little Falls FD and NJ Transit hosted a multi-agency drill. This drill simulated an occupied passenger train derailment and fire. The drill lasted approximately 4 hours. On Monday night members of Tower 2 and Rescue 5 attended an ice rescue drill at Buehler's Pond in North Haledon with the North Haledon FD. This drill lasted approximately 3.5 hours and allowed us to practice ice rescues as well as test some new demo equipment that Firefighter One was willing to bring and let us test out. Thanks to the mutual aid departments for inviting us and thanks to Firefighter One for bringing the equipment to us. The following links have pictures of the NJ Transit drill, additional ice rescue drill photos will be uploaded shortly.

BT Fire Photos NJ Transit Drill
Mark Rosetti Video of Drill
Car Fire on Metro Vista Dr
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Around noon on February 24th, the Hawthorne Fire Department responded to 26 Metro Vista Dr for a reported car fire near a house. Within minutes Chief Speranza arrived and established command reporting a working car fire with a fully involved engine compartment approximately 15 feet from the house. Engine 1 (OIC 501 Arturi) arrived and stretched a line to extinguish the fire, while Engine 4 (OIC 404 Vandervelde) and Engine 3 (OIC 203 DeGroot) assisted overhauling and disconnecting the battery. Tower 2 (OIC 502 Maher) stood by on scene while Rescue stood by in quarters for any other calls. The fire was extinguished within minutes of arrival with no damage to the home. The fire marshal is investigating the cause, all units were back in service within 30 minutes.

Oak Place House Fire
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 12:12
Tuesday, 9/23 at 12:12pm the Hawthorne Fire Department was dispatched to Oak Place for a reported fire in the basement.  Patrol arrived and reported a working house fire with smoke and fire showing from the basement.  The occupants were already outside with one person needing medical attention for smoke inhalation.

Engine 4 arrived first and A/C Nelson assumed command and assigned A/C Van Ek as the Operations Officer . As Engine 4 was securing a water supply and stretching lines, a crew from Tower 2 forced entry into the home and began a search to see if anyone was home and find any fire. The crew encountered heavy smoke and a large amount of contents in the house making fire attack and search difficult.   A 2nd alarm was struck which brought a Paterson Engine to the scene and North Haledon Ladder, Wyckoff Engine, and Glen Rock Engine to stand by at Fire Headquarters until we brought the fire under control.

After lines reached the seat of the fire, the crews from Tower 2 and Rescue 5 began to open up windows to ventilate the smoke and heat.   Engine 1 provided manpower to assist with fire attack and securing utilities.  The fire was under control in approximately 35 minutes.  An Excellent job was performed by everyone that worked on scene.  The fire had a great potential to spread quickly due to the contents but it was contained to the basement with only minor extension to the first floor.  We thank our mutual aid companies for their response, and our Ladies Auxiliary for refreshments.

~503, TL

2 Alarms Struck on Pasadena Place
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 09:51
The Hawthorne Fire Department was dispatched to a reported house fire on Pasadena Place just before 10am on a snowy Wednesday morning.  Chief Speranza arrived quickly confirming a working fire in a 2 ½ story wood frame.  Fire was visible from three windows on the first floor and was rapidly extending the second floor.  One occupant of the house narrowly escaped but suffered minor burns in the process.

Chief Speranza struck a 2nd Alarm immediately as all Hawthorne companies would be committed to operating at this scene.  Engine Co. #3 arrived first with a crew of 5, laid a supply line and began stretching  2 attack lines.  A/C  J. Van Ek (503) was assigned as the Operations officer.  Tower Co. #2 began setting ladders for egress and then set the bucket for a roof operation.  A/C  J. Marsch (502)was assigned to roof operations.  Engine Co. #4 established a secondary water supply and prepared to feed the Tower if necessary.  Members also stretched a third line from Engine 3 to be advanced to the second floor.  A/C M. Nelson(504) was assigned to the B and D sides of the incident.  Engine Co. #1 provided manpower to assist with fire attack and Rescue Co. #5 was initially assigned as the RIT. 

Within minutes fire had extended to the second floor and was venting from 2 windows on the A side and 2 windows on the B side.  Wyckoff FD and North Haledon FD were then requested to the scene to assist with manpower.  Companies pushed through the first floor knocking down the heavy fire, but encountered difficulty making the stairs with well advanced fire conditions of the second floor.   The Tower was ordered to open the roof in the A/B corner to assist the interior crews.  This improved conditions enough for companies to make a final push and knock down the heavy fire.  Crews spent the next 1 ½ hours chasing small pockets of fire and performing an extensive overhaul operation.

All responding firefighters performed well given the advanced fire conditions on arrival.  There were no injuries and everyone went home safely.  Thank you to all of our mutual aid companies – Wyckoff and North Haledon for your assistance at the scene, and West Paterson and Totowa for covering the Boro and answering 2 calls while we were tied up.  Thanks also to the Hawthorne Ambulance Corps. for standing by, and to our Ladies Auxiliary for the warm refreshments on a cold snowy morning.

Year Ends and New Year Begins on a Hot Note
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 
Three of Hawthorne's Fire Companies were called to assist the Haledon Fire Department with a serious fire in their Borough New Year's Eve. The fire involved several houses on Morrisee Avenue between King St. and Tilt St. Engine Co. #3 was initially dispatched at 10:43 pm to cover the Borough of Haledon from one of their firehouses. They were quickly directed to the scene by Chief Speranza who was at the Haledon command post. Their crew went to work immediately stretching hose lines into the exposure on the Bravo side and performed suppression, search and overhaul. Engine Co. #4 and Tower Co. #2 were then requested as conditions at the scene continued to deteriorate. Fire now involved three houses with one house already in total collapse. Crews worked for several hours to contain the blaze and encountered difficulties with radiant heat, downed power lines, below freezing temperatures, and the ballon frame construction spreading fire throughout all the walls and ceilings. Companies were taking up when they were alerted to another working fire in the Borough of North Haledon. All three Hawthorne Fire Companies were dispatched by the County Fire Coordinator to 268 North Haledon Ave. Upon arrival, companies found smoke pushing from the eaves of the roof and located fire in the walls on the second floor. Lines were stretched and wall were opened up quickly and the fire was knocked down in rapid fashion. All county Fire Departments worked very well together under very tough conditions for a very long portion of the Holiday night and early morning hours. We thank our members and all the other firefighters for a safe and effective job very well done at both locations - and for yet again, leaving their families and holiday plans behind to help those in need. http://www.northjersey.com/news/passaic_morris/Three-alarm_blaze_destoys_two_Haledon_homes_damages_three_others.html

2 Alarms for House Fire on 8th Ave
Sunday, September 22, 2013 
While members were arriving home and cleaning up after an all day Rescue class, the fire department was dispatched for a house fire on 8th Avenue.  This house was the site of another fire three years prior.  Chief Speranza signed on the air and reported smoke in the area.

On arrival, the Chief reported a working fire in the basement with possibly an occupant in the house.  It was quickly confirmed that there was no occupant, but rather a dog and a cat.  Both animals were removed by the firefighters.

Arriving fire companies went to work quickly.  A/C J. Van Ek was assigned as the Operations Officer. Engine Co. #1 (OIC Ex-Asst.Chief K. Foley) stretched an 1 3/4" line to the basement and Engine Co. #3 stretched a back up line into the 1st floor. Tower Co. #2 (OIC A/C J. Marsch)began setting ladders and prepared to ventilate the structure.  Engine Co. #4 (OIC A/C M. Nelson) entered the1st floor for a search and Rescue Co. #5 (OIC A/C B. Warner) the second floor.  Chief Speranza struck a second alarm as all Hawthorne Fire Companies were committed to this scene. 

Searches proved negative and the fire was knocked down in about 15 minutes with some extension into the first floor kitchen and hallway areas.  The floor joists were compromised in this area due to the heavy fire condition present there. 

Companies secured utilities and completed ventilation and turned over the scene to the investigators.  Another job well done by our members knocking down the fire very quickly and preventing fire spread to the remainder of the house.  Thank you as well to our mutual aid companies for covering the boro while we mitigated this incident, and to our Ladies Auxiliary for the refreshments. 

Members Participate in Rescue and Extrication Class
Saturday, September 21, 2013 
Members of the Hawthorne Fire Department are always working hard to perfect their skill sets.  There are many different focuses in firefighting and rescue - therefore training is very important.

On Saturday, Instructors from the Passaic County Fire Academy put members through a Rescue and Extrication class that would hone their skills on some very important topics surrounding motor vehicle extrication.  Car companies design vehicles to protect the driver and passengers in a crash, and sometimes this makes it challenging for firefighters to rescue them.  We are trained not to remove the person from the vehicle, but to remove the vehicle from around the person.  

Instructors presented material focusing on scene safety, situational awareness, and techniques for dismantling a vehicle to access the patient.  Members were able to use many different tools - among them, the ram, the spreaders and cutters.  Firefighters were presented with a challenging scenario to end the day - a two vehicle collision involving 5 people that required extrication.  Firefighter performed very well, having all persons removed in under 40 minutes.

Everyone got a chance to work the tools and learn something new.  That is what is great about the fire service.....you keep learning every day. Thank you again to our Instructors, Durand, Hearney, and Page for your excellent presentation.  And thanks to member Brain Laube for providing lunch!

9/11 Memorial Dedicated
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 
September 11th marked the culmination of a project that began over two years ago when the Borough of Hawthorne was fortunate enough to acquire a piece of the World Trade Center steel.  The goal was to honor all first responders, and the innocent victims - including Sal Zisa, Hawthorne’s only casualty of the September 11 attacks.  After well over a year of fundraising by many community organizations, planning by the monument committee, and finally construction – the September 11 Memorial was dedicated on the 12th anniversary of the attacks. 

It was wonderful to see so many people – citizens and first responders alike - come out to this important event.  A well thought out plan, one that was changed a few times by the committee to be sure every facet of this tragedy was addressed, transformed the area between Fire Headquarters and the Hawthorne Ambulance Corps. building into a park like setting.  This monument will be in place for generations to come, so that all who visit the site will have the opportunity to reflect and remember those who were lost. 

We are very appreciative of the all the efforts by the contributors to this project.  Please take the time to visit the memorial if you have not done so already.  The experience will be better than any written description.





NBC News
Sunday, August 25, 2013 



(WOODLAND PARK, NJ)–With the smallest team, comes the biggest win. David Sylvester, the lone firefighter for the Hawthorne Fire Department’s grilling team, won the first place prize in a ‘hotly’ contested Firefighters Face-off held in the parking lot of the Woodland Park Fairway Market on Sunday, August 25, 2013.  Hundreds of people came out to enjoy food, music, giveaways, games and a slew of fire vehicles on display at what will now be an annual event.

 Event goers also helped to raise funds with a $2 donation for the food that will go to the Woodland Park Centennial Foundation for a parade, picnic and gala to be held in May, 2014. Fairway Market will sponsor the 100th anniversary celebration.

 With the help of only his son Dominic and a Brian Patmos from Rescue Co# 5, he cooked up the best burgers, ribs and chicken according to a prestigious panel of judges which included Keith Kazmark, Mayor of Woodland Park, Terry Krongold, from Jersey Bites, Leia Gaccione, Chef de Cuisine for Bobby Flay's restaurant Mesa Grill and Ed Burke, GM of Fairway’s Woodland Park store. Four other Passaic County teams from Little Falls, West Paterson, Totowa and Wayne, also participated, with Wayne taking second place and West Paterson coming in third.

 Sylvester, the chief cook for his volunteer firehouse, was stunned by the win. When he saw the size of the other teams (most had at least six and several had more than 10 team members) he knew he was at a great disadvantage. He even had a setback when one of his grills caught fire, burning a rack of ribs to a crisp.

 “I am stunned,” said Sylvester, who called his fellow firefighters right away to tell them of his victory. “Until I was able to show them the trophy, no one would believe that I won.”

Besides a huge trophy, the winning firehouse gets bragging rights as the best Passaic County Fire Department grilling team and a $500 gift card to the store. More importantly, the first place firehouse can now select the charity of its choice which will be St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to benefit from a Fairway Market “Shopping Night,” in which 25 % of sales will go to that charity.   

Fairway has a long-standing commitment to firefighters and continues to support these brave men and women with firehouse shopping discounts and unique community events at each of its 13 locations.

“Firefighters are famous for being terrific cooks and are justifiably proud of the firehouse cuisine they create,” said Bill Sanford, president of Fairway Market. “We really enjoy shining the spotlight on them and their grilling expertise and giving the community a chance to meet and greet these local heroes. Plus, it is all done for a good cause, making the event so meaningful and important.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 
Over the last several days, many agencies came together in an unusual, yet very important circumstance, to make sure that Brother Firefighter, Albert Nejmeh, of the Tacoma, WA Fire Department was given full honors as he was laid to rest here in New Jersey.  Al was a former resident of Hawthorne and his family still resides here.  Al passed away after having a heart attack while on duty, assisting a citizen of Tacoma who was having a medical emergency.  Our thoughts and prayers continue for his family.

On Saturday May 18, Al’s body was escorted from Newark Airport to Browning and Forshay Funeral Home in Hawthorne by a contingent of fire apparatus and police.  A few members of the Tacoma, WA Fire Department were present as well to receive Al’s body from the plane.  The Hawthorne and North Haledon Fire Departments were assembled at the funeral home to see him arrive. 

The wake for Al was held Sunday May 19.   An Honor Guard was present around the clock – many firefighters showed their dedication by stepping up to fill these positions throughout the time period.  Several local fire and police departments passed through that afternoon and evening to pay their respects.  The turnout was evidence of the true nature of what the brotherhood/sisterhood of the fire service is all about.  

Sunday evening afforded us the opportunity to spend some time with the members of the Tacoma FD and learn more about Al and each other.   Friendships were made this weekend that will continue for a very long time.

Al’s funeral on Monday was everything it needed to be – Firefighters came out in force to show their respect and say a final goodbye in true, traditional fire service fashion.  Al’s flag draped casket was loaded on to the Newark FD cassion unit with two of his brothers from the Tacoma FD positioned on each end of the tailboard.  As the procession entered St. Anne’s driveway in Woodland Park, they were met by a color guard, honor guard, pipes and drums, the American flag hanging from two crossed aerial ladders and a large detail of firefighters in formation.  The casket was carried from the vehicle on the shoulders of the Tacoma FD members and into the church for his service. 

Burial took place at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Totowa. The Pipe and Drum Corps played Amazing Grace and God Bless America.  Members stood at attention while taps was played and the signal 5-5-5 was tapped out on the bell for Al’s final alarm.  Finally, Al was laid to rest as the siren wailed in the distance while the cassion unit pulled away.  Rest in Peace, Brother Al – you will not be forgotten…..

The Hawthorne Fire Department would like to thank the North Haledon FD and all the local fire departments, police departments, borough administration, and other agencies that contributed to this weekend’s events.  We truly appreciated your cooperation and participation.  We would also like to thank the Newark FD and Jersey City FD, the FDNY, the International Association of Firefighters, and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for all of their assistance and direction – your support enabled us to get this done properly.  To the members of the Hawthorne Fire Department – your efforts showed the highest level of dedication by putting aside your own affairs to make sure that Al was treated just like one of our own.  You may not fully realize the importance of your actions yet – but rest assured the impact was felt all the way to Tacoma, WA. and back.  Thank you all again…….

To learn more about the Firefighter Albert Nejmeh, The Tacoma, WA Fire Department, and to see more pictures of the past weekend’s events, follow the links below.  More will be added as they become available.








Thursday, May 16, 2013 
The Hawthorne Fire Department regrets to announce that Firefighter Albert Nejmeh of the Tacoma, WA Fire Department answered his final alarm on May 14, 2013.  While working at the scene of an EMS incident, Firefighter Nejmeh collapsed from an apparent heart attack. Fellow responders rendered basic and advanced life support to Nejmeh and transported him to St. Joseph Medical Center where, despite the best efforts of the medical staff, he succumbed to his injury.  FF Nejmeh is formerly from Hawthorne.  He graduated from Hawthorne High School in 1971.

The Tacoma, WA Fire Department has asked for all available firefighters in the state of New Jersey to attend this LODD funeral.   The Hawthorne Fire Department will be participating and assisting with the honorable, final send- off of our brother firefighter.  All members are urged to attend in full dress uniform. 

The arrangements for our brother are below:

Viewing - Sunday, May 19, 2013 – 2pm to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm at Browning-Forshay Funeral Home, 557 Lafayette Ave, Hawthorne NJ.  **MEMBERS ARE NEEDED FOR HONOR GUARD DETAIL**

Funeral Mass - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM - Saint Anne's Melkite Church, 802 Rifle Camp Road, West Paterson, NJ.  Available Firefighters should be at the Church at 0900 HOURS IN FULL DRESS UNIFORM!

Interment - Monday, May 20, 2013 following the funeral - Holy Sepulcher Cemetery - 52 Totowa Rd Totowa, NJ.

Challenging Conditions at 2nd Alarm in Stam's Alley
Monday, May 13, 2013 
The Hawthorne Fire Department was dispatched for a house fire in Stam’s Alley around 10:35pm Sunday night.  Stam’s Alley is a narrow lane off of N. 8th St. with restricted access.  Chief Speranza arrived on scene, confirmed a working fire in a 3 story wood frame and established command.  He immediately requested a truck company from North Haledon to respond directly to the scene as Tower 2 is out of service.  Residents were already out of the house but reported several cats to still be on the second floor.    The second floor was already heavily involved in fire with fire showing from four windows on three sides of the structure.

Engine Co. #3 established a water supply and began the long hose stretches required to reach the structure and began an attack on the fire.  A/C J. Van Ek was assigned as the Operations Officer for the incident.   Engine Co. #4 arrived and assisted with the hose stretches and set up an exposure line in the alley.  Engine Co. #1 sent manpower to the rear with a second 1 ¾” and also went to work on the fire.  A third line was also stretched for backup.  Tower 2X began laddering the building for crews working on the interior.  Rescue Co. #5 assisted with hose stretches and lighting for the incident.  North Haledon’s truck company set up on the A side and raised the stick to the roof for ventilation.

A second alarm was struck as all companies were heavily engaged.  Crews were met with heavy fire conditions on the second floor extending to the attic area.  Limited access to this area as well as excessive debris in the second floor hampered progress.  Once the heavy fire was knocked down, crews chased pockets of fire in the attic space for a while.  Primary and secondary searches proved negative on the first floor and four cats were located during the secondary search on the second floor and carefully removed.  Prospect Park FD provided the RIT and Glen Rock FD, Haledon FD, and Wyckoff FD covered the borough.

All companies worked hard under challenging conditions and achieved great results for their efforts.  The fire was contained to the building of origin with one other structure receiving minor heat damage.  Hats off to everyone for another great job – and to our mutual aid companies for their response to our call for assistance, and the Hawthorne Ambulance Corps and our Ladies Auxiliary for standing by with us. 





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