kate triggiano red bankRed Bank has two new probationary firefighters, and one’s the borough fire and police commissioner.

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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