Recognizes Union Beach firefighter Robert C. Meyer and 44 others
HOWELL, NJ – In a solemn memorial service at the Monmouth County Fire Academy on Oct. 5, the County honored Robert C. Meyer of Union Beach Fire Co. #1 who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting a 4-alarm fire on June 8, 2014.
County officials were joined by firefighters from around MonmouthCounty to remember Meyer along with 44 men and women who have lost their lives in the line of firefighting duty in the County. Citations for bravery during the past year were also awarded to firefighters, emergency responders, inspectors and County residents from Belmar, Keyport, Middletown, Monmouth County Park System and Naval Weapons Stations Earle.
“No matter what time of day or night that alarm goes off, you answer the call to serve,” Freeholder John P. Curley told the firefighters and their families. “Some answered that call and never returned home. Today, we honor their memories and continue our pledge to never forget.”
Curley also thanked the families of the firefighters for their support and sacrifice as well.
The memorial and awards ceremony was led by the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, and included placing a wreath in honor of the 44 firefighters from MonmouthCounty fire companies who died in the line of duty. As each name was read, backed by the ringing of a bell, a red carnation was placed at the foot of the flag pole and a salute offered by family members and firefighters.
After honoring the fallen, Curley and Fire Marshal Henry A. Stryker III awarded Unit Citations and Medals of Valor for rescue and firefighting efforts during the past year.
“You have been trained well, and you learn each and every day,” Curley said. “Believe in yourselves and believe in the struggle you face no matter how daunting that task may appear. Believe you are capable of helping your fellow human beings to full safety because youtruly are our heroes.”
“They are all special and dedicated individuals,” Stryker said. “They are people who, without hesitation, left the safety and security of their families and homes and answered the call. They often place their own lives on the line while working to save the lives and property of others. These firefighters, first responders and County employees are truly heroes and we honor them and cheer for them.”
Freeholder Curley, who is the freeholder liaison to the FireAcademy, added, “we are one family here in MonmouthCounty. We have a magnificent fire academy that trains our firefighters in the latest equipment and actions to take. We will continue on as the as the finest firefighting department in the state, if not the nation.”
Attendees included Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, Freeholder Serena DiMaso and Assemblyman David P. Rible.
* A list of award recipients is found below
2014 Award Recipients
The Supreme Sacrifice award was presented to:
Firefighter Robert C. Meyer, Union Hose Fire Company, UnionBeach
Valor awards were presented to the following:
Captain Timothy Somers, Long Branch Fire Department
Firefighter Henry Cioffi, Long Branch Fire Department
Firefighter Nicholas Saffioti, Long Branch Fire Department
Unit Citations were awarded to the following:
MiddletownTownship Fire Department
Fire Chief/EMT John Isaksen
Firefighter Fred Deickmann
Fire Captain Russell Mount III
Firefighter /Paramedic Marcelo Aquirre
Firefighter John Mattoccia Jr.
Naval Weapons Station Earle – Fire And Emergency Services
Fire Captain Victor C. Huhn Jr.
Fire Inspector Michael Donahue
Firefighter /EMT Scott Godley
Firefighter /EMT Louie Villaneuva
Firefighter /EMT Henry Picco
An Administrative Medal was awarded to:
Stephen M. Matthews, Chief Inspector, MonmouthCountyPark
Certificates of recognition were presented to the following:
Belmar Water Rescue Team members Brian Wilton, Charles Van Der Linde, Joseph Buckley, Gene Scholz, Kevin Higgins, Kevin Fitzgerald, Joseph McEvoy, Peter Young, John Fenniello, Brian Allen, Gary Vogel, Brian Hansen, Thomas Stoddart, Virginia Kropac, M.A. Spagnulo, Michael Dahrouge, David Hough, Joseph Ave, Ryan Cunard, Ryan Lavender, Bruce Blatner
Special recognition was given to:
Mary Beth Sica, Keyport, New Jersey
Louis Falco, Keyport, New Jersey