Council cites fire department’s convention wins

Members earned 16 awards at Firemen’s Relief Association Wildwood convention

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Joseph Metz/The Sun
Members of council pose with fire department representatives at the former’s Oct. 2 meeting.

Deptford council honored the work of the township fire department and the multiple awards it won during the New Jersey State Firemen’s Relief Association’s (NJSFRA) annual convention in Wildwood last month.

Multiple firefighters and members of the department’s fire cadets were on hand at the Oct. 2 council meeting to receive certificates. Both groups were at the convention.

“We’ve had a cadet program for the last 12 years,” said firefighter Greg Thelen. “It’s become successful; we’ve gotten a lot of good children and good kids out of it that have turned into fine young adults.”

The department earned 16 awards at the convention, including best appearing Fire Explorer Post, best appearing Gloucester County apparatus for Brush Truck 925 and best appearing 1960s-era antique to Almonesson Lake Firehouse.

“These awards are indictive of your service to the community,” Mayor Paul Medany said of the fire personnel. “We can’t thank you enough. We hope this gesture of appreciation shows all of our residents the appreciation we owe all of you for everything you do on a daily basis.”

Councilman Ken Barnshaw, a former EMT and member of Blackwood Terrace Firehouse, also spoke to the crowd during the meeting.

“This is a big deal,” he noted. “There’s no other community in New Jersey that’s gathered tonight, its citizens and their heroes, celebrating the recognition that we got in front of all these people down in Wildwood.

“We had the opportunity to visit and see so many of the trucks …” he added. “This is like a tradition. But it’s not a tradition without a lot of hard work from people. These young people, men and women, spent a lot of time going out and protecting us.”

Also honored at the meeting were the businesses of the month for September, Once Upon a Child kids clothing store, Best Buy, Barclay Group, DSW, Hand & Stone, The Convent tattoo and body piercing studio, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Arctic Wolf spring water.

Citizen of the month went to Mary Jane Pierce, a former member of the Oak Valley Firehouse Ladies Auxiliary and its VFW. She has also worked with the Daughters of Veterans junior unit to help sponsor cancer awareness for female veterans and help veterans.

“I’ve lived in Deptford Township for 51 years,” she said. “I enjoy especially working with the veterans. I started with my dad, who was a World War II veteran, at 9 years old. So if I could go officially from 9 to 78, that’s how many years I have helped.”

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