9/17/2019 - Hackensack Firefighters Promoted in Ceremony at Tuesday’s Council Meeting

Hackensack Firefighters Promoted in Ceremony at Tuesday’s Council Meeting

Track and Field Athletes also Honored

At the start of Tuesday’s Hackensack City Council meeting, the Mayor and Council took time to recognize a few dedicated student athletes, who had just competed in, and medaled in the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics. The recipients, who are minors, smiled broadly as they were presented with City proclamations for their accomplishments. Afterwards, the Mayor and Council officially swore nine newly-promoted Firefighters into the positions of Lieutenant, Captain and Deputy Chief.

Timothy Rice, Jose Portacio, Aaron Hilliard and Jeffrey Giarrusso were officially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, which Anthony Riehl, Spero Leakas and Peter Greco were promoted to Captains, and John Gargagliano and Michael Christensen were promoted to Deputy Chiefs.

The Hackensack elementary and middle school students who participated in the recent USATF competition were joined by their families and head coach Paul York. The events included: shot put, javelin, discus, 100 meter, long jump, high jump, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay. 

“Hackensack Fire Department has consistently ranked as the #1 Fire Department in all of New Jersey, and it starts with the leadership of Chief Tom Freeman, and through his Deputy Chiefs, Captains and Lieutenants. Clearly, the chain of command works, and these men would not be promoted to positions of leadership if they couldn’t handle the responsibilities that come with it,” said Mayor John Labrosse. “I have no doubt our newly promoted Firefighters will continue to lead by example, and uphold the highest standards of professionalism. I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge the importance of this date. Many of these men, and much of the HFD joined first responders on September 11, 2001, risking their lives, to save others. I would like to thank all responders, everywhere for their bravery.”

“These men have committed themselves to protecting the citizens of Hackensack and our nearby towns, often sacrificing time with their friends and families. I would therefore like to thank the families of all our Firefighters, because their sacrifices are yours, as well,” said Fire Chief Tom Freeman. “All the men promoted tonight are well deserving, and I know will continue to serve with dignity and respect for the department, and the people we’ve sworn to protect. I would also like to thank the Mayor and Council, for your genuine concern for the safety of our department members, and for always working to make sure we have the resources needed to uphold our excellent safety ratings.”

The Hackensack Fire Department recently purchased a heavy-rescue truck and state-of-the-art pumper truck. The HFD also has consistently obtained class 1 safety ratings from ISO, the national standard bearer.


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