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Mt. Tabor Fire Dept. Helps Sandy-Affected Shore Area Fire Company

'It's about brothers helping brothers,' said representatives of Parsippany's Fire District 1 and the department serving Long Branch.

Superstorm Sandy did no favors for Parsippany. But if we are honest, we must note that the worst of the October mix of rain and gale force winds hit places such as the Jersey Shore. And one of the towns hit hardest was Long Branch.

"Their fire department was practically wiped out," said Bryan Crawford, a fire captain for the Mt. Tabor Volunteer Fire Company

Knowing that fellow firefighters were in need, Parsippany's District 1 found out that the Long Branch Fire Department was in need of fire hoses and a fan. The Tabor crew happened to have a cache of extra hoses and a fan it was no longer using.

Asked why he and his colleagues were being so generous, Crawford, who is something of a fire department historian, referred to the past.

"There is this tradition of brothers helping brothers," he explained.

On Tuesday, members of MTVFD, with Patch riding along, traveled by fire engine nearly two hours each way to deliver the items to their brothers in Long Branch.

LBFD Fire Chief Angelo Ciaglia used a now-familiar phrase to explain why the donation means so much to his department.

"To put it in perspective, it's about brothers helping brothers," he said. "It helps us out quite a bit. We do the best we can with the money the town gives us. Obviously with the times we are in, the economic situation, Sandy rebuilding... the money's just not there."

Ciaglia noted that his fire company of 500 has 24 paid firefighters with four or five men or women on call for three days of 24/7 duty at all times. Additionally, Long Branch has a core of volunteer firefighters who provide supplementary coverage. He said a captain and four lieutenants from the uniformed fire division run day to day operations.

"Last year we ran 2,400 calls," he said. "A lot of them are 'smells and bells,' alarm [malfunctions], things like that. It's very hard for volunteers to keep up with 2,400 calls, so the paid department handles a lot of calls, mostly at night.

"The uniforms and the volunteers... we work very well together. Thank God. Bottom line, it's brothers helping brothers."

Sandy's mark is still evident in Long Branch, which is right off of the Atlantic Ocean. Some businesses are still boarded up; others are in operation. Ciaglia suggested a tour of the town and nearby Sea Bright, a shore town he said has about 100 off-season residents off.

"They are really in dire need," the chief said. "Where are they going to get the money?"

And he said that describes Long Branch to a tee. Ciaglia said money for Sandy cleanup, in the absence of much aid, had to come from the town's general fund, which leaves little left for other municipal needs.

He added that seeing what Sandy wrought and the difficulties some New Jerseyans are having in their efforts to get back to normal makes the generosity of MTVFD even more meaningful and appreciated.

The Par-Troy firefighters wave off the thanks.

"It's an honor to us to be able to help," said District 1's Nick DiGiacomo. "We're glad to be able to do it."

As the Mt. Tabor fire engine headed back toward Parsippany, Crawford took a detour through Sea Bright. The sights reinforce Ciaglia's observations—the shore areas clearly were devastated by the superstorm. Recovery, though underway, is still not near completion.

What will get New Jersey through, likely, is the spirit that motivated a volunteer fire company's 140-mile round trip—what they call "brothers helping brothers" can also be called "being a good neighbor."

Next up for MTVFD is its own fundraising event: The District 1 company hosts its annual Easter plant sale at its Tarn Drive firehouse in Mt. Tabor starting Saturday morning. The event runs both days this weekend and then again Wednesday through Easter Sunday next week.

Mikey March 21, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Nice to see that we as taxpayers can just take a ride down the shore in a town owned firetruck and give things away. 140 miles at 8 MPG= 17.5 gallons @ $3.50 = $61.25 What about FEMA, the county OEM or state OEM?
Ezekial Floydman March 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Town dosnt own the firetruck jack. Also knowledge is power so you should get educated before you speak. BAM.
Mikey March 21, 2013 at 11:40 PM
I'm sure they pay for fuel and insurance. Who foots the bill when they get injuried doing non emergency fun runs? Uhhhhh. Me. Taxpayer. I pay for the equipment in taxes.
Sick of the Bull March 22, 2013 at 02:07 PM
While I admire what these great volunteers did, I have to agree with Mikey on this. We just cannot afford to waste taxpayer money. On their best day I doubt those mammoth fire trucks get even close to 8 MPG. In the future please worry about taking care of Parsippany and let the residents of other towns take care of themselves.
Kevin Brancato March 22, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Hey you knuckleheads. Maybe the "Volunteer" FD should stop and ask you to pay your taxes before they put a fire out at your house or service you in any way. Your comments are selfish and stupid and thoughtless. You should all be ashamed and try to figure out what makes you so miserable and cynical. Get a life.
Wilnj March 22, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Unless you're in Mt. Tabor, you didn't pay squat because each district has it's own levy.
Harry S Sebastian March 22, 2013 at 03:42 PM
I don't know what the mix is in terms of how much taxpayer money is spent by the Fire Districts vs. how much in donations (they get both), however, I don't have a problem with this gesture AT ALL. It's an investment in the future...good will towards other fire departments in the state begets good will in return. Even though these folks may be distant neighbors, the are still neighbors, Fire Dist. 1 had a surplus of equip, our neighbor had the greater need, and we helped them out. I guess the moral of the complaints here is: No good deed goes unpunished.
Mr X March 22, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Mikey and Sick of the Bull, we honestly get sick of all of your trolling. your comments exude nothing but negativity. maybe if you took a little time to understand the first thing about the fire service in the town of parsippany maybe you would have a little more respect for the brave men and women who give so much for you. first off all the members are volunteers. in order to even become a firefighter, the state of new jersey requires a 160 hour training course. this is the equivalent of the amount of time spent on 3 college courses. then these people give their own time to help serve their community. and even pumping out basements (including mine more than once) during floods, a service that many other towns fire departments will not provide. waking up at all hours of the night. leaving their family and friends. Taking up their time and spending their own money on gas. all without receiving anything more than a hat and a few tshirts for their services. then the way the taxing works, the town DOES NOT own any of the apparatus. each district has elected commissioners who purchase the apparatus and equipment for their department. (as far as the fun runs and picnics the fire departments do, none of your precious tax money goes to that, rather it is entirely funded through private fund raising whether it be boot drives, plant sales, or the wonderful haunted house that the fire department has given our township these past few years)
Mr X March 22, 2013 at 07:14 PM
how selfish can you be, let other towns defend themselves? There have been many times that departments from other towns have helped Parsippany, and in return, Parsippany will help them out. Trust me, these good deeds have not gone unnoticed. A little charity will go a long way, while selfishness will only make you bitter. if the money is REALLY that important to you, lets break it down for you. There are approximately 4,000 residences served by the mt tabor fire department. So that 61.25 you so whole heartedly feel was wasted to help those a town who was decimated by sandy, less than 2 cents came directly from your pocket, only if you live within that district, otherwise this had no personal impact on you whatsoever. Really rather than getting your panties in a bunch over 2 cents, maybe your efforts would be much better spent finding a local volunteer and thanking them for what they do. So to all of the volunteers, regardless of how you choose to give back to Parsippany, we thank you, as you are one of the intangible assets that make this town such a great place to live in.
Angelo Ciaglia March 22, 2013 at 08:04 PM
MIKEY AND SICK OF BULL, Where were you during the storm of Sandy? Home with your family, sleeping in a nice bed next to your wife, feeling safe because knowing that your local VOLUNTEER Fireman will be there to help you when you need them, 24 - 7. MUST BE NICE. Well let me tell you where I was,for two weeks I lived at the fire house, which did not have electric or heat, taking cold showers, eating what ever we could scramble up to eat, sleeping with 60 of my brother VOLUNTEER Fireman on a cold floor with no electric or heat.( if you want to call getting no sleep for the first 48 hrs, than getting approx 3 to 4 hrs nap between the more than 400 calls for help from the residents In my City during the first week after the storm), sleep. Not seeing my family for two weeks. Not going to work for 3 weeks because i had to VOLUNTEER my services to make sure that all the Volunteer fireman were safe than making sure i could do all that we could to help the citizens of my city feel safe and some what comfortable. and with no cost for manpower to the tax payers. THANK GOD FOR VOLUNTEER FIREMAN. If you want,since you seem to have alot of time and energy to WASTE, why don't you volunteer your time to help out your fellow neighbor, JOIN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. unless you feel VOLUNTEER FIREMAN are not good enough for you to be in your company.
Mikey March 22, 2013 at 08:26 PM
As a Paid Professional, yes I am a true professional, going for the huge pension ask,"Why in the world wouldn't they volunteer their own car to transport these items?" My question is why is a resource needed to protect citizens of Parsippany allowed to be taken so far "Out of service". Its not like i'm complaining about them washing their cars in the driveway or them sitting around drinking their beer on town insured property. At what point does town liability come into play? 25 and OUT.
Robert Fullerson March 22, 2013 at 08:49 PM
While I do appreciate the volunteering these citizens do, Mikey has some good points. If there were a fire during the period of time the engine left the station, they would be missing one truck. Secondly, I'm sure some people appreciate the "haunted house" and "car washes" they do, but lets not forget the real reason there is a volunteer fire department. They chose to spend their time ensuring the safety of their neighbors, not driving around with their lights on in their personal car for their own pleasure and using the fire house as their own personal play house.
the grin reaper March 22, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Parsippany has six fire departments with more fire fighting apparatus than most any other municipality in the state. If one piece of equipment is out of town for a duty such as this, or for maintenance, or any other reason, Parsippany is still properly equipped. And the town has no liability, each of the six fire departments in town collect taxes and make their own decisions regarding what equipment to buy, how to maintain it, and the proper staffing levels for their district. The town has no say in fire matters, the commissions of that district are the ultimate authority.
Mr X March 22, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Had you taken the time to look at the pictures you would have seen that the size and weight of supplies given to Long Branch far exceeded what could be transported in a personal vehicle. As a paid professional going for your huge pension Im sure you drive a huge SUV to go along with it. If youre so concerned about saving money for the town, you could have offered your vehicle. Referring to yourself as a Paid Professional is the biggest slap in the face you could ever give to a volunteer firefighter. They are paid professionals in other fields of life AND volunteer professional firefighters. Their training and certifications are exactly the same as every paid firefighter since the qualifications are regulated by the state of New Jersey and OSHA. you obviously have something against the fire department. Yes, a fire truck and a few members is a resource needed to protect citizens. This is not the entire department taking the 2 hour trip. There were surely enough members, and several trucks, left behind so that the town was adequately protected.
Robert Fullerson March 22, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Just a comment, if they are paid professionals in other fields and a good amount go on this trip, then who is around to attend an emergency?
Mr X March 22, 2013 at 09:26 PM
5 members of a department that I would assume has 30-40 active firefighters went to Long Branch. Im sure the chief or whoever authorized their donation restricted the number of people allowed to attend to ensure there was still a crew behind.
Natalie Davis (Editor) March 22, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Five MTVFD members, a small percentage of its manpower, went on the trip. There is backup always in place, just as there is backup when a company is involved in fighting a fire. Town money and liability were not involved in this.
Angelo Ciaglia March 22, 2013 at 09:32 PM
People do not understand the volunteer fire department. People are worried about $61.00 for fuel to help out brother fireman. If there was no volunteer fireman, you think that 61.00 is a lot of money, well think again. How about millions of dollars spent to pay for a paid department. On the other hand do you really worry about one fire truck being out of service for a couple of hours lending help to other towns is a big deal. What about when that same engine is out of service because of mechanical problems for days on end . Or when that fire engine is out of town for training. Do you worry about that. You should be proud of your local Volunteer fire department and support them. They risk their lives every day for you and other people to be safe at no cost to you. What is a the life of a volunteer fireman worth? A hell of a lot more than $61.00 The other option when you chase them away is paid. You should be proud of them. You are very luck to have a bunch of professional guys willing to donate their time for you.
ParFDmom March 23, 2013 at 03:30 AM
If you really want to bash this towns volunteers, you really have no soul. I have a family member who is a volunteer and if you understood the sacrifices that they make you wouldn't dare criticize their efforts.
Robert Fullerson March 23, 2013 at 04:19 AM
I drove by today and they were outside washing atv's. I appreciate what they do, all I'm saying is some, not all, take advantage of it all.
Volunteerforlife March 23, 2013 at 04:54 AM
If you saw and dealt with the things we deal with on a daily basis you would find a way of taking your mind of it too. There way is riding ATV's and everyone's is different. Rinsing off there ATV's at a firehouse, which by the way is owned by the members of the fire dept. and not the taxpayers or the commissioners, is a privelage earned by there hard work. When do what we do, then you can critize us until then please keep your rude comments to yourself.
Robert Fullerson March 24, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Maybe I do what you do, and its some of you guys that are embarrassing us. Also, there is a difference between their and there.
Giuseppe Canavacciuolo March 24, 2013 at 02:22 AM
A hose and a fan. My goodness what heroes! Yes, lets take the town's firetruck down the shore to deliver our backup equipment. This was more an act for attention than an act of philanthropy...
Natalie Davis (Editor) March 24, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Not a hose. A lot of hoses. Wow.
Giuseppe Canavacciuolo March 24, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Natalie, was that really necessary? Let me rephrase my post. "A lot of hoses and a fan. My goodness what heroes! Yes, lets take the town's firetruck down the shore to deliver our backup equipment. This was more an act for attention than an act of philanthropy..." Feel better Ms.Davis?
Giuseppe Canavacciuolo March 24, 2013 at 03:30 AM
The Fire Department is NOT an area for recreational use! Wash your ATV's in your own driveway! Cut the crap these are men not babies. If you need to ride an ATV from the stress then get out of the department. Most of us only have time to work and providing for our families is about all the stress relief we get! Suppose there was a call, that's more delays to getting to the emergency and more lives put in danger when every single second counts! Go grab a box of tissues if your really going to pull that card, and please keep your ignorant comments to yourself!
Wilnj March 25, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Giuseppe, I would argue that if there were a call, the fact that a bunch of guys were already at the firehouse would speed their response time, not delay it.
Mr X March 26, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Knowing the members down at Mt. Tabor, they were not looking for attention. They are in a situation where they are fortunate to have a luxury such as backup equipment. The Long Branch fire department lost nearly everything. Their city left with minimal fire protection. Like Captain Crawford said, brothers helping out brothers. I am sure that the next time they decide to make a donation they will keep it private because of all the negative backlash the public has decided to bestow upon them. Maybe I will put this in terms you can better understand. The homeless veteran who is on the side of the street in the city in need of money. It is a cold winter night and you bring him a jacket of yours that you no longer wear. It helps someone in need while having a minimal impact on yourself. You aren't looking for the attention, the feeling of satisfaction from giving and helping someone less fortunate than you, and a single, appreciative "thank you" is plenty. That is what this was. No more, No less. Thank you Mt. Tabor Fire Department for providing your services to the residents of Parsippany and for showing your generosity to our neighbors. We do truly appreciate all that you do. And thank you Miss Davis for writing an article that shows the heart of brotherhood, volunteerism, and illustrating the great men and women we have here in Parsippany. Keep up the good work!!!
steve March 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM
as a member of one of parsippany fire dist its a shame what people think and say i was hit by sandy i spent my whole time helping others so you can sit there and say what you want about taxes but if we were paid it would be a lot more and your upset that we helped out our brothers some were else what about mutial aid that helps us when we need them so they shouldnt help us becase there not from parsippany before you judge get facts rite great job mt tabor

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