By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
With the turn of the calendar to 2011, so comes a change of command ’round the Green.
Although many of the same volunteers will be responding to emergency calls, from a slip on an icy sidewalk to an actual blaze, the leaders at area fire departments are different from last year.
To get you up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of your new fire chiefs, all of whose terms expire December 31.
Red Bank: John Mego
Occupation: Retired Red Bank Board of Education maintenance man; former school crossing guard
Years of Service: 46
Right Hand Men: First Deputy Chief Josh Sanders, Second Deputy T.D. Doremus.
Rumson: Kevin McCarthy
Years of Service: 11
Right Hand Man: Assistant Chief Paul Halligan, a 22-year veteran and former chief in Sea Bright.
Background: McCarthy, who is serving his first tour as chief in Rumson, comes from a family of firefighters. His father and uncle were both firemen in Jersey City. “I didn’t quite follow in their footsteps, because it’s not like a legacy to Rumson,” McCarthy said. “But it’s like a legacy to their service.” Fair Haven Fire Chief Wade Davis. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
Right Hand Men: Serving under Davis is Deputy Chief Bill Heath, First Assistant Derek DeBree and Second Assistant Dan Kane.
Background: A lifelong Fair Haven resident, Davis joined the fire department’s future firemen program at age 14. He served as the the first aid squad’s captain in 1995 and 2001, and in his first stint as the borough’s chief, Davis is looking forward to 2011. “Hopefully it’ll be another safe year and less non-fire issues,” he said. Sea Bright Fire Chief Chad Murphy. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
Sea Bright: Chad Murphy Age: 25
Occupation: Sea Bright police officer, seven years
Years of Service: Murphy, the son of Councilman and former chief Read Murphy, got started with the fire department 10 years ago. This is his first time serving as the borough’s chief.
Right Hand Men: Captain John Sanders, First Lieutenant Pat Mason, Third Lieutenant Dave Estelle (As of January 3, no captain or second lieutenant was appointed in Sea Bright). Middletown Fire Chief Michael Chenoweth. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
Middletown: Michael Chenoweth
Years of Service: 25
Occupation: Middletown police officer, 18 years
Right Hand Men: Chenoweth is the lead man overseeing 11 departments. The chain of command under Chenoweth this year looks like this: Deputy Chief Andy Spears; First Assistant John D’Atilio; Second Assistant Pete Liamann; and Third Assistant Rick Hibell.
Little Silver: James Jiminaro
Years of Service: 22
Occupation: Little Silver police dispatcher
Right Hand Men: Assistant Chief Andrew Smith, Captain Peter Giblin, First Lieutenant Reiss Pfleger, Second Lieutenant Mike Very.
Goal: “Just to keep everything going the way it’s been going keep everybody safe.”
Shrewsbury: Jerzy Chojnacki
Right Hand Men: First Assistant Michael Ernst, Second Assistant Ronald Neis.
As volunteers move up the ranks, others are joining. The Monmouth County Fire Academy in Howell graduated 60 ‘firefighter 1’ volunteers in mid-December. Among the class were three Red Bank grads, listed below:
Red Bank Independent Engine Co.: Brian Irwin
Red Bank Hook & Ladder: Nicholas Ferraro
Red Bank Westside Hose: Nikeya Miller