2016 Calls & Events

This page shows just a part of the more than 300 calls, events, and drills the Fanwood Fire Department responds to each year.

12/20/2016 - Frank Dietl and Doug Germinder Honored -

 

Captain Frank Dietl and Firefighter Doug Germinder were honored by the mayor and town council as volunteers of the month.

Frank and Doug are credited for their great contribution and hard work on the annual Santa Parade. This takes weeks of planning and an all day effort for it to go smoothly.

 

The decades old tradition of Santa visiting homes before Christmas is extremely popular in Fanwood. 

 

Congratulations Frank and Doug, great job!

Mayor Mahr, Captain Dietl, Firefighter Germinder and Chief Piccola
Mayor Mahr, Captain Dietl, Firefighter Germinder and Chief Piccola

12/17/16  - Santa Visits Fanwood -   

 

The weather slowed us down a bit, but the 2016 Santa visit was a success. There were happy faces on kids young and old.  

 

Many people helped with this event, but extra thanks goes to:

 

Ex-Chief Dave Clausen, Firefighter Doug Germinder, Captain Frank Dietl, Maryann Clausen, Rose Piccola, Melissa Drewes, Melissa Padulsky, Julie Downing, Michelle DeProspero, Terry Hamill, Chief John Piccola and Assistant Chief Dave Zawodniak.

 

Additional thanks to the Fanwood Rescue Squad and Officers Dan Kranz and Dan Piccola of the Fanwood Police Department. 

12/16 - Fire Dept and Lions Club Tree Sales -  

 

We've had another successful Christmas Tree Sale at LaGrande Park. As of 12/10 all trees were sold out.

 

Thanks to everyone who purchased a Christmas tree!

 

Many people helped make this a success, but extra thanks to Fanwood firefighter John DeProspero for coordinating and scheduling this large effort.

 

12/2/2016 - Tree Lighting Ceremony & Santa Visit -

 

Sunday December 4th was the annual tree lighting ceremony in downtown Fanwood. Santa arrived on a fire truck and said hello to many happy young kids.

12/2/2016 - SPF Wrestlers Give Back  Day -

 

On Sunday 12/4, the SPF Wrestling Team washed Fanwood fire trucks, police cars and ambulances as part of their "Give Back Day".

This event was coordinated by SPF Wrestling Coach Marc Fabiano and Fanwood Police Officer and Firefighter Dan Piccola.

 

Thank you to the team for taking the time to do this, your help is greatly appreciated!

11/5/2016 - 2 Car MVA with Multiple Injuries -  

 

On Saturday, 11/5/16 @ 1246 , the Fanwood FD was dispatched to Midway and Farley Ave's for a serious 2 car MVA , overturned, with entrapment and multiple injuries.

 

Five BLS units and one ALS unit were requested for eight patients. Injuries were non life threatening. Scotch Plains FD was requested for manpower. The roadway was closed for approximately 90 minutes.

11/2/2016 - Extrication Training -  

 

Fanwood Firefighters attended a training class at the firehouse on extrication tools that were recently purchased by the department.

Firefighters taking an exam at the end of the extrication tool training
Firefighters taking an exam at the end of the extrication tool training

10/25 & 10/30/2016 - Firefighter Training -

 

On 10/25, members practiced cutting through metal and steel with rescue saws. This technique is used when forcing entry on metal doors and removing iron bars from windows and doors.

 

On 10/30, FFD worked with members of the Plainfield FD on acquired structures, which are buildings that are about to be demolished which fire departments can use for training.

 

Firefighters practiced rescuing a person who has fallen through a floor, and rooftop ventilation techniques.

Thanks to the Plainfield Fire Department for allowing us to participate.

10/16/2016 - Midway & Martine - 2 Car MVA  -

 

Two people were injured in a 2 car collision at the intersection of Midway and Martine.

 

FFD assisted with the injured, safely secured the vehicles, and captured fluids draining from both vehicles.

 

The Fanwood Rescue Squad transported both victims to the hospital.

Two car MVA - Midway and Martine
Two car MVA - Midway and Martine

10/7/2016 - New Extrication Equipment Arrives -  

 

FFD received new state of the art extrication equipment, including 2 spreaders, one cutter and 2 rams.

 

Vehicle manufacturers continue to use newer, stronger composite materials in cars. These new Holmatro NCT (New Car Technology) tools will cut through the strongest materials in use today, and will even cut materials planned for use more than 5 years from now.

 

These tools will see much use - each year the Fanwood Fire Department responds to several emergencies where extrication is required.

FFD's new Holmatro 'New Car Technology' extrication equipment
FFD's new Holmatro 'New Car Technology' extrication equipment

9/21/2016 - Fanwood Community Foundation Grant -  

 

The Fanwood Community Foundation presented a grant for over $2,800 to the Fanwood Fire Department. This grant will be used to offset the cost of RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) equipment.

 

Our thanks goes to the foundation. RIT equipment is used when a firefighter becomes trapped, injured or lost during a fire.

Fanwood Fire Chief John Piccola (right) and members of the Fanwood Community Foundation
Fanwood Fire Chief John Piccola (right) and members of the Fanwood Community Foundation

9/10/2016 - Saint Bart's 9-11 Candle Lighting Ceremony -  

 

On Saturday 9/10, St Bart's held a candle lighting ceremony in memory of all victims of the 9/11/2001 attacks.

 

Members of the Fanwood and Scotch Plains fire departments helped light candles representing the 343 firefighters who died at the World Trade Center that day.

 

See additional information and photos of this event here.

Veteran Fanwood Firefighter Bob Brennan assists at the St Bart's 9/11 Candle Lighting Ceremony
Veteran Fanwood Firefighter Bob Brennan assists at the St Bart's 9/11 Candle Lighting Ceremony

9/5/16 - Deck Fire - Forest Road

 

At approximately 1:00 AM, Fanwood FD was dispatched to a reported deck fire on Forest Road.

 

A fire began on a deck in the rear of a house, and had extended into the back wall. The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries.

9/4/16 - Truck Fire - South Avenue

 

At approximately 10:00 AM, the Fanwood Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a truck fire at 2 South Avenue.

 

Units arrived to a fully involved cab and engine of a dump truck.

 

Crews quickly extinguished the fire. Scotch Plains FD also assisted.

8/30/16 - Forcible Entry Drill

 

Fanwood firefighters practiced forcible entry at a Watchung fire house. "Forcing a door" is needed when entrance is required immediately to a structure during a fire or other emergency.

 

Firefighters must be familiar with many types of doors, the materials used in their construction, and their strengths and weaknesses. A working knowledge of the wide variety of locks is also necessary.

 

Thanks to the Watchung Fire Department for allowing us to use their equipment.

8//16 - Next Generation Fanwood Fire Engine

 

The new fire engine that will serve Fanwood and surrounding communities for years to come is getting closer to completion. 

 

The KME cab-forward pumper will hold 750 gallons of water and pump up to 1500 gallons per minute. Delivery date is some time in the fall.

 

This engine will replace Engine 7, our 1983 Mack pumper that is no longer legally compliant - in particular due to it's open air seating for crew members.

8/13/16 - Fanwood FD Coin Toss

 

Our annual coin toss was held at 2 locations - Martine and South Ave as well as Hetfield and North Ave.

 

Fortunately, the high heat did not impact people's generosity. Thanks to everyone who donated, your support is greatly appreciated!

 

We'd like to give a special thanks to Mara's Cafe and Fanwood Bagel for providing food and water.

Clockwise from top left: Mara's Cafe, Fanwood Bagel, Ladder 1 at the coin toss at Martine and South
Clockwise from top left: Mara's Cafe, Fanwood Bagel, Ladder 1 at the coin toss at Martine and South

7/25/16 - Electrical Fire - LaGrande Avenue

 

Fanwood units Engine 8, Engine 7 and Ladder 1 responded to a report of smoke in a house on LaGrande.

 

An electrical fire was discovered behind a wall in the kitchen. There was minor damage and no injuries. Scotch Plains FD also provided assistance.

Fire apparatus on LaGrande Avenue for an electrical fire
Fire apparatus on LaGrande Avenue for an electrical fire

7/18/16 - Tragic Accident on Midway Avenue

 

A 26 year old woman was electrocuted after a wire fell on her car and she attempted to leave the vehicle on Midway Avenue. 

 

Our entire community has been impacted by this tragic event.

 

People have asked for the proper steps to take if they experience this type of emergency. PSE&G has a link with advice about downed power lines here. 

 

Here is a YouTube video with the proper steps.

7/17/16 - Structure Fire - Dogwood Drive - Scotch Plains

 

2 Scotch Plains firefighters were injured at a structure fire on Dogwood Drive in Scotch Plains.  Fanwood's Ladder 1 and Engine 8 assisted at the scene.

The home was heavily damaged by the fire.

7/1/16 - Plainfield 3 Alarm Structure Fire

 

Fanwood Ladder 1 as well as units from  several other surrounding towns assisted the Plainfield Fire Department at a 3 alarm house fire on West Front Street

3 Alarm Fire - W Front St. Plainfield
3 Alarm Fire - W Front St. Plainfield

6/24/16 - Apartment Fire - Scotch Plains

 

The Fanwood Fire Department assisted Scotch Plains FD at an apartment fire on Country Club Lane. The fire began in the kitchen of a first floor apartment. No injuries were reported.

Westfield, Plainfield and Cranford Fire Departments were on standby at Fanwood Fire Headquarters.

Country Club Lane Apartment Fire - Scotch Plains
Country Club Lane Apartment Fire - Scotch Plains

6/22/16 - Extrication Drill - Recycling Center

 

FFD members practiced extrication techniques for removing entrapped victims from a vehicle. This is done using tools known as the 'jaws of life'.

Practicing on these old cars is an opportunity to simulate real-life situations.

6/10/16 - Ladder Truck Ride-Along

 

Friday, June 10th  was an exciting day for four local children. The Zimmerman twins, Tommy and Luke, were the recipients of a "Ride to School" in a firetruck auction/fund raiser prize! The boys brought along their friends, Tristan and Ben and, of course, Mom and Dad. The boys toured the firehouse and took many pictures before heading off to school. 

 

The Fanwood Fire Dept. works closely with the SPF School District and other local organizations to introduce young people to local heroes and emergency personnel.

We were honored to be a part of their special day!!

6/5/16 - Oven Malfunction - First Avenue

 

FFD was dispatched to an oven fire on First Avenue. Upon arrival units reported heavy smoke throughout the house. There was no fire extension and no injuries. Scotch Plains FD also assisted at the scene.

6/1/16 - Fire Truck Ride-Along

 

Today was an exciting day for two local children. Marlee Mendelsohn pictured with her brother Zachary, was the recipient of a "Ride to School" in a firetruck auction/fund raiser prize!

 

Fanwood FD works closely with the JCC and other local organizations to introduce young people to local heroes and emergency personnel.

 

Marlee "allowed" her dad, Matt and brother Zachary to ride along to school this morning to the cheers of her school mates! Mom, Nikki, was at her grand entrance for a perfect opportunity to take a few pictures!

 

The Fanwood Fire Dept. was honored to be a part of her special day!

5/30/16 - Memorial Day 2016 - For All Those Who Served

 

The rain stayed away, and the Fanwood Fire Department participated in a memorial service at the Fanwood Library and marched in the Fanwood/Scotch Plains Parade. It was great seeing so many residents along the parade route.

FFD kids pose prior to marching in the parade. Back row left to right: Doug Germinder, Jackson Dietl, Ella Mauer, William Mauer, Emma Route, Aidan Route and Ryan Mauer.  Front Row: James (left) and Justin Marchica
FFD kids pose prior to marching in the parade. Back row left to right: Doug Germinder, Jackson Dietl, Ella Mauer, William Mauer, Emma Route, Aidan Route and Ryan Mauer. Front Row: James (left) and Justin Marchica

5/16/16 - 94 Years Young and Still a Brother...

 

Len Zuchowski has been a Fanwood Firefighter for over 40 years. He celebrates his 94th birthday this month.

 

We all wish Lenny good luck as he moves from Fanwood to be closer to his family.

 

Thanks Len for all the years you've helped protect our community! Be safe and happy!

Members of the Fanwood Fire Department celebrate with Len Zuchowski
Members of the Fanwood Fire Department celebrate with Len Zuchowski

5/12/16 - Dryer Fire - Stagaard Place

 

On Thursday, May 12 @ 1228 hrs, the Fire Dept. was dispatched to a smoke condition on the second floor of a residence on Stagaard Pl. Upon arrival, Command reported heavy smoke. Scotch Plains FD was immediately requested to fill out the first alarm assignment as was the Fanwood Rescue Squad.

 

Mutual Aid was also requested as a precaution. Engine 8, commanded by acting Lieutenant Ken Gorman, advanced 1 line and quickly extinguished an active fire in the laundry room. No extension and no injuries were reported.

4/22/16 - Shed and Garage Fire - Scotch Plains

 

FFD assisted Scotch Plains for a shed and detached garage fire in the backyards of homes on Lyde Place and Coles Ave in Scotch Plains.

4/16/16 - Rockin' For Autism  - LaGrande Park

 

Fanwood FD's Ladder 1 made an appearance at LaGrande Park in support of this fundraiser for autism.

 

Many people were in attendance, and kids of all ages were able to climb inside the truck and check out the gear and tools. Great fun for a great event!

Assistant Chief Steve Szanto gives a tour of Ladder 1 at the Rockin' for Autism event
Assistant Chief Steve Szanto gives a tour of Ladder 1 at the Rockin' for Autism event

4/13/16 - Knights of Columbus - Annual Shield Awards

 

First responders in Fanwood and Scotch Plains were honored at the annual Shield Awards Ceremony held by the Knights of Columbus at St Bartholomew Church.

 

Assistant Chief Dave Zawodniak accepted the award for all Fanwood firefighters.

In his comments, Chief Zawodniak mentioned the long hours members devote to helping others. He also thanked the families of our members for their understanding and support.

Asst Chief Zawodniak accepting the Shield Award from Grand Knight Seth McQuillan (photo courtesy Tom Kranz)
Asst Chief Zawodniak accepting the Shield Award from Grand Knight Seth McQuillan (photo courtesy Tom Kranz)

4/10/16 - Fatal House Fire - Plainfield

 

At approximately 2:00 AM on Sunday, April 10th, Fanwood Ladder 1 was dispatched for mutual aid into Plainfield to a house fire on Lansdowne Terrace. Ladder 1's crew performed overhaul and checked for hotspots on the second floor.

 

Tragically, a man who was removed from the house later died from his injuries at a hospital.

The scene of a fatal house fire on Lansdowne Terrace in Plainfield
The scene of a fatal house fire on Lansdowne Terrace in Plainfield

4/1/16 - Three Car MVA - Midway Avenue

 

FFD responded to a three car accident on Midway near Forest Road that was initially reported to be a car fire.

 

There was no fire, but two vehicles had significant damage. Firefighters contained a small vehicle spill.

3/22/16 - NorthSTAR Landing Zone Drill - Forest Rd Park

 

The Fanwood Fire Department held a drill with the University Hospital/State Police NorthSTAR medivac service. (STAR = Northern Shock-Trauma Air Rescue) 

 

Procedures were practiced to aid NorthSTAR when landing in small, populated areas. The designated site for Fanwood is Forest Road Park.

 

For more information on NorthSTAR click here.

3/21/2016 - Chief Piccola honored by Scotch Plains FD

 

At the Fanwood Town Council meeting on March 21st, Fanwood Fire Chief John Piccola was honored by the Scotch Plains Fire Department for his dedication and commitment to the fire service, as well as his fostering of cooperation between both departments.

Numerous Fanwood and Scotch Plains firefighters were in attendance.

 

Chief Piccola said he regarded this award as being very special, since it came from his peers. He also commented on how both departments are always aware and responsive when assistance is needed in either town.

 

Congratulations John!

3/12/2016 - Car Into Building - South Ave

 

On Saturday. March 12th, the Fire Department was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident, car into building, with entrapment.

 

The vehicle traveled over the sidewalk, struck a building and careened back into traffic.

 

No injuries were reported. South Ave was closed for approximately 90 minutes.

3/8/2016 - Two Alarm Fire - Scotch Plains

 

Fanwood Engine 8 and Ladder 1 assisted SPFD at a structure fire on Wareham Court in Scotch Plains.

 

The fire began in the kitchen and extended to the garage. 

 

Westfield, Plainfield and Clark units also assisted.

2/14/2016 - MVA - North and Westfield

 

On Sunday 2/14 at 0240 hrs, the FFD was dispatched to the intersection of North Ave and Westfield Rd for a MVA, truck through a fence into a tree.

The victim self extricated and walked away with minor injuries.

Near zero temperatures slowed vehicle extraction. Roadway reopened by 0420.

2/8/2016 - MVA with Extrication

 

FFD used the jaws of life to extricate a victim from a car that collided with a tree on LaGrande Avenue near Stagaard Place.

The vehicle shown after safely removing the victim.
The vehicle shown after safely removing the victim.

1/20/2016 - Child Caught in Rocking Chair

 

FFD was dispatched to a home on Paterson Road for a child whose head was lodged between spindles on a rocking chair. 

Due to a quick response and actions taken by our members, the child was dislodged safely with no injuries. 

1/16/2016 - Annual Awards Dinner

 

The Fanwood FD and Rescue Squad held their annual awards dinner at Berkley Plaza in Berkley Heights. 

 

For the third year in a row, Firefighter Tony Grasso Jr was awarded highest call percentage.  Nice job Tony!

 

Firefighter Matt Hamill received an award for 15 years of service. Matt's father Russ has been a firefighter for 42 years and was chief from 1982 to 1985. Congratulations Matt!

Firefighter Matt Hamill (left) being recognized by Chief John Piccola for 15 years of service.
Firefighter Matt Hamill (left) being recognized by Chief John Piccola for 15 years of service.

1/2/2016 - Fanwood Firefighter James Drewes joins Union County Sheriff's Office

 

Fanwood firefighter James Drewes was hired as a deputy at the Union County Sheriff's Office.

 

Jimmy has been an FFD member since 2001, and his father Howard has been a member for more than 30 years.

 

Congratulations Jimmy! 

FF Drewes driving Engine 3, our antique 1947 Mack Type 45 pumper, in a Labor Day Parade.
FF Drewes driving Engine 3, our antique 1947 Mack Type 45 pumper, in a Labor Day Parade.

1/1/16 - Officer Swearing-In Ceremony

 

As stated in the Fanwood Fire Company Bylaws, officers are sworn in on the first day of each new year. Congratulations to all of our elected officers.

 

Department Officers:

 Chief: John Piccola

 Assistant Chief: Dave Zawodniak

 Assistant Chief: Steve Szanto

 Captain: Frank Dietl

 Captain: Brian Piccola

 

Company Officers:

 President: Rick Regenthal

 Vice-President: Sean Manette

 Secretary: Tony Grasso Jr

 Treasurer: John DeProspero

 

Mayor Colleen Mahr, Chief John Piccola, Assistant Chief Dave Zawodniak, Captain Frank Dietl (photo by Tom Horton)
Mayor Colleen Mahr, Chief John Piccola, Assistant Chief Dave Zawodniak, Captain Frank Dietl (photo by Tom Horton)

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