Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, above, recently passed the “captain’s test” demonstrating basic physical fitness as a firefighter and was approved as a member of the Westside Hose Company on Leighton Avenue, the same street where she resides with her husband and son.
Triggiano and another “probie,” Jack Welsh – son of Fire Marshal Tommy Welsh – were approved as department members by the council at Wednesday night’s meeting. They’ll now have to complete hundreds of hours of training at a fire academy. Meantime, they can assist at fire scenes.
Triggiano, whose role as council liaison to the fire and police departments carries the ceremonial title of commissioner, comes from a family of New York firefighters and “always wanted to be one,” she told redbankgreen.
“It’s a great way to serve, and they’re really needed,” she said, adding that she didn’t feel comfortable asking others to volunteer for a commitment she herself had not made.
Welsh, whose father and late grandfather were both fire chiefs, and Triggiano join a house that made some firefighting history. In 1926, borough resident Emma Vernell joined Westside, across the street from her home, after her husband, Harry, died from injuries sustained fighting a fire a year earlier. Ten years later, New Jersey recognized her as a firefighter, the making her the first of her gender in the state to win the designation.
(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
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