County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:

October 10, 2012


Firefighters honored at
county’s memorial service


HOWELL,NJ– In a solemn memorial service at the Monmouth County Fire Academy on Oct. 7, county officials joined firefighters from around Monmouth County to remember the 43 men and women who have lost their lives in the line of firefighting duty, and congratulate those who were awarded citations for bravery this past year.


“Believe in yourselves and believe in the struggle that you face no matter what time of day or night that that alarm goes off,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley told the firefighters and their families. “Believe that you are capable of helping your fellow human beings and bringing them to full safety. Families, I thank you for your sacrifice as well.”


The memorial and awards ceremony was led by the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, and included laying of a wreath in honor of the 43 firefighters from Monmouth County 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.


“I would like to thank each and every one of you for your service to your towns and this county,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso. “Firefighters are a special breed of volunteer. All of the honorees today have been tested in a way most people do not understand. They answered the call and placed their lives on the line to save someone else’s life and property. We salute you and thank you for protecting us.”


After honoring the fallen, Curley, DiMaso and Fire Marshal Henry Stryker awarded Unit Citations and Medals of Valor for rescue and firefighting efforts during the past year.

“They are all special and dedicated individuals,” Stryker said. “They are firefighters who, without hesitation, leave the safety and security of their families, homes and places of work and answer the call – often placing their own lives on the line while working to save the lives and property of others. These firefighters are truly heroes and we honor them and cheer for them.”


Director Curley, who is the freeholder liaison to the Fire Academy, added, “we are one family here in Monmouth County. 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.” 


The local Fallen Firefighters Memorial Services coincided with the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorialweekend that was held in Maryland. October is National Fire Prevention Month.


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* A list of award recipients is attached:



2012 Award Recipients


Unit Citations were awarded to the following:

Wall Fire Company #1 - Lieutenant Robert Hendrickson Jr., Firefighter Thomas Capaci, Firefighter Logan Rafferty and Firefighter Tyler Savage


Long Branch Fire Department - Firefighter Thomas Fleming, Firefighter Kevin Stout, Firefighter Salvatore Merkel and Firefighter Gregory Papailou


Avon Water Rescue - ANSWER Team/Neptune Emergency Management members Michael Bascom, Michael Dileo and Kevin Devlin; Bil Rosen, ANSWER Team/Shark River Hills First Aid; Joseph Grabas, ANSWER Team/Shark River Hills First Aid; Avon First Aid members John Chunga, Jim Outwater and Bart Barry; Neptune Township Fire Department Chief Donald Colarusso; Unexcelled Fire Company (Neptune) members Steve Conklin, Joseph Mauro, Daniel Harker and Francis Sutphin; Belmar Water Rescue members Brian Wilton and Gene Schulze.


Special recognition was given to:

Captain Steve Rogan, New Point Comfort Fire Co. No. 1, Keansburg

Firefighter Wayne VanSant, New Point Comfort Fire Co. No. 1, Keansburg

Firefighter/EMT Paul Annunziata, Wayside Fire Company, Tinton Falls

Firefighter/EMT Mike Scott, Wayside Fire Company, Tinton Falls

Firefighter Ruben Moreno, Wayside Fire Company, Tinton Falls


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