mc fire class 104 award winnerPHOTO: (center) Matthew LaVecchia, Class 104 of Gordon’s Corner Fire Company in Manalapan

HOWELL, NJ – The Monmouth County Fire Academy graduated 46 firefighters from the Firefighter I program this week. Graduates were divided into two classes: Class 104 graduated Jan. 21 and Class 105 graduated Jan. 22. Both ceremonies were held at the FireAcademy on Route 33.

Graduates worked 188 hours over 30 sessions and received training in rescue, fire extinguishment, hazardous materials response, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, electrical safety, and care of hoses, ladders and other equipment. 

“Firefighting is more than public service or volunteerism – it is a calling, a way of life. You cannot put a price on it. It is your reputation, your integrity, your life,” Freeholder John P. Curley said in his address to the classes. “Every day from this day forward you are now firefighters. You have earned our respect. On behalf of MonmouthCounty and the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

mc fire class 105 award winnerPHOTO (center) James Smith, Sr. of the Robertsville Fire Company in Marlboro.

A graduate from each class earned an award in honor of Ronald Fitzpatrick, a former instructor at the FireAcademy who died in 2003. The awards went to Matthew LaVecchia, Class 104 of Gordon’s Corner Fire Company in Manalapan and James Smith, Sr. of the Robertsville Fire Company in Marlboro.

Monmouth County Fire Marshal Henry Stryker III congratulated the graduates and urged them to continue their training with advanced courses offered at the FireAcademy.

“It takes a special type of person to be a firefighter,” Stryker said. “They have to have a passion to do this job. The graduates sitting before us have that passion because they have completed the rigorous training as their first step. Please be safe.”

“By virtue of becoming a volunteer firefighter you have already gone above and beyond the call of duty. Be assured it is not something we forget or take lightly,” said Curley “You all are a credit to MonmouthCounty and to the towns and people you serve. We salute you and thank you for protecting us.”

Each year thousands of local firefighters receive training at the CountyFireAcademy. For more information about the CountyFireAcademy visit

mc fire class 104

Firefighter 1 – Class 104

David N. Birchett                   NeptuneTownship Fire Department

Sean A. Brown                       Manalapan Fire Department

Jonathan L. Caruso                 Freehold Independent Fire Company

Matthew J. Cocuzza               Aberdeen Fire Department

Matthew C. Coleman              NeptuneTownship Fire Department

Ian G. Davis                            Wanamassa Fire Company

Joseph L. DeRocker IV          Wanamassa Fire Company

David K. Fazio                       Gordon’s Corner Fire Company

Joshua R. Hansen                    Ocean Grove Fire Department

Matthew LaVecchia               Gordon’s Corner Fire Company

Nicholas A. Lozito                  Keansburg Fire Department

Sandra M. Lynch                    Aberdeen Fire Department

Robert M. Morris                    Southard Fire Company

Kristen M. Narciso                  NeptuneTownship Fire Department

Matthew J. Nelson                  Morganville Independent Fire Company

Daniel T. O’Grady                  Keyport Fire Department

Justin D. Pettit                       South Belmar Fire Company

Michael J. Rogers                    East Freehold Fire Company

John Roselli                             West Long Branch Fire Department

Thomas A. Spuler                   Middletown Fire Department

Nicholas R. Walker                 Ocean Grove Fire Department

Brian A. Zwickel                    Southard Fire Company



mc fire class 105

Firefighter 1 – Class 105

Harry M. Aumack IV             Keyport Fire Department

Kristopher Bassignana            Englishtown Fire Department

Austin G. Burke                      Ramtown Fire Company

Michel D. Chavez                   Oakhurst Fire Company

Robert V. Clarizio                   Morganville Fire Company

Andrew B. Clay                      City of Long Branch

Jessica L. Clayton                   Glendola Fire Company

Tim L. Curry                           Roosevelt Fire Company

Michael J. Fiorino                   Marlboro Fire Department

Rory D. Green                       Eatontown Fire Department

Brian M. Haas                         Freehold Independent Fire Company

Jamie Jacoby                           Colts Neck Fire Department

Anthony J. Kilroy                   Keyport Fire Department

Nicholas R. Krauss                 Freehold Boro Fire Department

Samuel P. Lopez                     Roosevelt Fire Company

Andrew M. Malizioso             Englishtown Fire Department

Nicholas R. Milano                 Robertsville Fire Company

Darius B. Newman                 MillstoneTownship Fire Department

Joe A. Ramos                          Eatontown Fire Department

Ryan D. Rochelle                    Northside Fire Company

James M. Smith, Sr.                Robertsville Fire Company

Steven A. Squires                   Keansburg Fire Department

John S. Stoya                          Englishtown Fire Department

Christopher V. Vitale              Adelphia Fire Company