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Holmdel Introduces Bill to Consolidate Fire Service

Two township fire companies would become one company, with three locations. In doing so, the longtime Fire Company Number One on Main Street would be dissolved.

Holmdel resident Kevin McKane, a member of Holmdel Fire Company One, spoke for the volunteers who want to continue in their roles at the Main Street firehouse.
Holmdel resident Kevin McKane, a member of Holmdel Fire Company One, spoke for the volunteers who want to continue in their roles at the Main Street firehouse.
As planned, the Holmdel Township Committee introduced local legislation Tuesday to re-organize the township's fire response into one company. 

Ordinance 2014-11 essentially dissolves Fire Company Number One, which has been based in the Holmdel Village for 97 years, in favor of establishing three stations. They would be at the already-established Centerville Road firehouse, the re-purposed Crawfords Corner Road Office of Emergency Management building, and at a new location on Vonage's property off Route 520. 

Mayor Patrick Impreveduto said the 5-member Township Committee would seriously consider public comments made at the meeting. In fact, Township Committeeman Greg Buontempo would even respond to each one of them at the public hearing on the ordinance on April 29, before the ordinance is voted upon for final adoption. 

As Buontempo took notes, several longtime Holmdel residents rose to the microphone to decry what they believed was a rash decision to end a township legacy for reasons they did not fully understand. 

Kevin McKane, a driver for the 97-year old fire company on Main Street, lamented about how the governing body was treating volunteers, a view also echoed in comments by Karen Strickland, who said volunteers are important to great communities like Holmdel. 

Kim Weigand Casola spoke about her gratitude to the firefighters for saving her family's centuries old home when threatened by an electrical fire.

Michael Rauchwerk requested a copy of the analysis the township used to arrive at their decision. The township attorney suggested he call the Township Administrator, Donna Vieiro, on Wednesday for the document. 

Theresa Fazio, the mother of two sons who volunteer at Holmdel Fire Company One, said she was able to collect 130 signatures on a petition protesting the changes. "There are a lot of people so upset about this," she said. 

Scott Goldstein said he was "amazed" that the township would forego a relationship with the 97-year old company to "jump into bed with a corporation that's barely been here 10 years." 

Sean Keating said he learned about the township's plans to change fire service by stumbling upon a reference to it on Facebook. He said he had not received the township postcard on it. Mayor Impreveduto responded about a third of the town did not get the township's informational postcard, even including two of the elected officials on the dais. He expected the mailing would be completed by Wednesday. 

Only one Holmdel resident spoke out in favor of the plan. Charles Pfleger, who volunteers as the Deputy Chief in the Keyport Fire Dept., said the reconfiguration plan was sound. "I think we can cover the town as the town needs to be covered," he said.


John Boyle Jr April 28, 2014 at 06:53 AM
Im Sorry I have to post this on here but when I seem to ask these following questions they are deleted off the Save Holmdel #1 facebook page.. Please explain to me how Holmdel Fire Co#1 can provide guaranteed coverage and quicker response times then are duty crews. When you have to get dressed at your residence, leave your residence, drive to the firehouse , wait to assemble a crew (means 3 or more)(hope you get a crew) then drive to the scene of the incident while proceeding cautiously?? Exactly not possible for you to do so....
Cooper A April 28, 2014 at 03:01 PM
are- verb; present indicative plural and 2nd person singular of be. vs. our-pronoun; a form of the possessive case of we used as an attributive adjective

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