MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Mayor Stephanie Murray administered the oaths of office to the Middletown Township Fire Department chief officers today at the annual Township reorganization meeting. Rick W. Hibell was appointed Chief of the Department. Chief Hibell follows in his father Bill’s footsteps who served as the MTFD chief in 2004. Also sworn into office were John Gorsegner Jr. as Deputy Chief, Anthony Citarella as First Assistant chief, Ryan Clarke as Second Assistant chief and Stephen Schweizer as Third Assistant chief. It should be noted that these five chief officers have over 148 years of combined firefighting experience.
About MTFD Organized in 1928, the Middletown Township Fire Department (MTFD) is comprised of over 500 dedicated volunteer members from 11 independent fire companies and 5 special units located within the 41 square mile municipality. In addition to providing residential and commercial fire protection services, the MTFD is a regional resource for Special Services such as Hazardous Materials Response, Confined Space Rescue, Building Collapse, Breathing Air Unit, Fire Police and Marine Firefighting. The MTFD also staffs and maintains an accredited Fire Training Academy which provides state of the art facilities and advanced curriculum that enable area firefighters to enhance their skills and to maintain various professional level certifications.
Each MTFD fire company receives an annual funding and equipment contribution from the Township which covers less than 50% of their operating cost. The companies depend upon various fund raising activities and generous public donations to subsidize their operational expenditures.
In 2014, the over 66,000 residents of Middletown Township relied upon the MTFD to answer 1,131 calls for service. The 100% volunteer unit is the largest fire department in Monmouth County and is described as “the largest all volunteer fire department in the world”.