National Volunteer Appreciation Week Continued; Fire Line Officers


Previously this week we have discussed the roles some of our members take on the business end of the fire department. Today we will discuss the leadership of the firematic side of the department. The firefighters of the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department are led by Fire Line Officers. These Officers include the Chief of the Department, Jay Littman, First Assistant Chief Marc Robinson, Second Assistant Chief Tim Langan, and Captain Peggy Brookes.

While leading firefighters during daily fire calls and other emergencies all of these officers also carry additional duties. Chief Littman is ultimately in charge of the part time paid firefighters and the volunteer firefighters. He over sees all operations, training, equipment, budgets, and works with other officials from the boro. First Assistant Chief Robinson is responsible for maintaining existing equipment and apparatus as well as purchasing new equipment when necessary. Second Assistant Chief Langan plans all departmental training as well as the development of probationary firefighters and enrolment of firefighters to any of the local fire academies. Collectively the three Chiefs of the department are referred to as the investigating committee. They review all new applications to the department and conduct interviews of possible candidates. Captain Brookes handles company level training, company meetings and elections. During monthly Officers Meetings they each give reports on what they are working on and discuss how to make improvements. Thank you to all of our Fire Line Officers for all of your hard work and service to your firefighters.

If you see a volunteer firefighter this week remember to thank them for their service, it’s the little things that mean the most! Or if you are interested in learning more about volunteering feel free to visit our “Volunteer” page at: or call Chief Jay Littman at 732-672-9879.

National Volunteer Apreciation Week Continued: Board of Trustees

Digital PatchIn today’s blog for National Volunteer Apreciation Week I’d like to showcase the Board of Trustees. These members of the department are responsible for all of the assets of the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department Inc. These assets include everything from our 1919 American La France fire engine to our uniforms to the tables and chairs we sit at every meeting. They meet monthly prior to the departments business meeting to discuss the departments finances and give their recommendations on all expenditures. They also ensure that the departments assets are well maintained. The board of trustees is run by Chairman and Ex Chief Hector Malave. Other members that sit on the board include Ex Chief Larry Theil, Ex Chief Mike McMahon, Life Member Charlie Byrne, Life Member Pete Prodromo, FF David Seiden, with President John Byrne and Chief Jay Littman who sit in on the meetings. Thank you all for your hardwork and dedicated service. [Read more…]

National Volunteer Appreciation Week; Chair Officers

Digital PatchToday marks the start of National Volunteer Appreciation Week. To celebrate we will be posting articles on our blog to highlight our members and their contributions to the department starting with our Chair Officers.

The Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department Inc., just like any other corporation is run by Chair Officers. These Officers include President and Ex Chief John Byrne, Vice President and Ex Chief Hector Malave, Secretary and current Captain Peggy Brookes, Treasurer Joe Romano, and Financial Secretary and Ex Chief Mike McMahon. It is these individuals who spend countless hours keeping all of the departments affairs in line ensuring that all business is handled in accordance with our bylaws. They oversee the departments finances and are involved in the planning of all major public events. Thank you Chair Officers for your hard work!

If you see a volunteer firefighter this week remember to thank them for their service, it’s the little things that mean the most! Or if you are interested in learning more about volunteering feel free to visit our “Volunteer” page at: or call Chief Jay Littman at 732-672-9879.


Spring Training


The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and that’s right the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department has begun its spring pump operator training! Driver training is a rigorous training program that trains firefighters in all aspects of the apparatus. Trainees will learn and be proficient with all tools and equipment that the apparatus carries including driving, pump operations, ladders, and emergency operations.


This morning firefighters gathered for the practical qualifications of FF Michael “Mordy” Gershen and FF David Seiden on Engine 2. These firefighters have put in many hours of on the road training, Pump Operator School at the Middlesex County Fire Academy, and in house training. Today these FF’s had to demonstrate all of the following: Safely driving the vehicle, location and operation of all equipment, explain the vehicles information (pump/water tank size ect.), pump operations using multiple discharges and nozzles, and reviewed drafting, relay pumping, and sprinkler/standpipe operations.

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Both FF’s did a great job and will be moving on to take a written examination. Once the practical is scored and the written is graded the Training Officer will present his findings to the Chief of the Department with his recommendations to either pass as full qualified drivers which would allow them to operate the vehicle on emergency calls and training with out direct supervision, or fail to continue on with additional training. Good Luck FF’s Gershen and Seiden!

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Photo Credit to Ex Chief Doug Watt and FF Billy Bright

March Training

On Tuesday March 29, 2016 members of the Highland Park Fire Department gathered for their monthly training. This months training brought us to the New Market Fire Department to attend the Kevin Apuzzio Memorial Seminar presented by Chief Danny Krushinski and other members of the East Franklin Fire Department who where on scene the day they lost their brother FF Kevin Apuzzio in the line of duty. FF Apuzzio lost his life on April 11, 2006 while making a rescue at a working structure fire. During the seminar Firefighters discussed their experiences from that day and lessons learned from it. It was an eye opening lecture for all involved that even when everything is done right, things can still go wrong and the many things that can be done to minimize the risk of injury or death. Thank you again to the New Market Fire Department for hosting this seminar and to Chief Krushinski and your men for an excellent night of training.

effd kevinPhoto Credit East Franklin Fire Department

“Train as if your life and your partner’s life depends on it”

Rescue on Raritan


This morning at 0752HRS, The Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department was called to 227 Raritan Ave. to assist the First Aid Squad with removing a resident from the basement of the residence. The resident, while leaving their apartment on the second floor, had fallen through the stairs into the basement. The firefighters on scene, led by Chief Littman, assisted the Squad with removing the resident by utilizing a backboard and rope rigging. They safely removed the resident through Bilco doors in the front of the building. The resident was then transported to a local hospital. After that, the firefighters were made aware of more residents on the second floor that could not leave the apartment because of the collapse of the stairwell. The firefighters utilized ground ladders to remove the rest of the residents from the windows. Another great job by the firefighters of Station 37!

Thank You Pino Family!


One year ago we wrote a post looking for a sponsor to help us purchase a new plaque for the firehouse. The plaque was to join several others that honor deceased members of the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department. We were running out of space on our most current plaque and looking ahead to have one ready to record and honor those who dedicated time to our department.

Christopher Pino stepped right up and made the donation on behalf of his family. The Pino name has a long and prestigious history in both HPVFD and the Borough of Highland Park. Several members of Christopher’s family, and Christopher himself have served as firemen for HPVFD.

The bronze plaque was ordered, produced and installed by The Bannister Company from Milltown, NJ. It sits next to several others in the firehouse recognizing and remembering those who served before us.

The Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department cannot thank Christopher and his family enough. The generous donation helped us purchase and install this wonderful plaque. Thank you Pino Family!




April 2015 Drill: Extending Hose Deployments


Fire Engines carry a variety of hoses to fight fire. Many of the hoses are “preconnected” – they are connected directly into discharges from the engine’s pump to get water on to a fire. During an emergency the driver of the engine and those in command must take into account what hoses they are carrying, where the emergency is occurring and how to position the engine to effectively and safely deploy hoses.

What happens if a preconnect is too short to reach a building, room, etc. despite engine placement?


For the April, 2015 Departmental Drill the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department trained on just this scenario. Firefighters worked repeatedly deploying hoses to extend the reach from the engine. Efficiency and speed improved each time through and firefighters were able to work on a variety of skills (hose deployment, hydrant connections, pump operations, handline operations). A great and important drill – thanks for everyone who showed up and worked hard.


Spring Member Drive


Do you like to help others?

Are you interested in volunteering and making a difference in your community?

Would you like to learn new skills and challenge yourself?

The Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department is looking for residents in and around Highland Park to help us respond to calls, assist with community functions and join our family of volunteer members.

We are business owners, students, teachers, mechanics, electricians, sales people, fire service professionals and more. We work regular jobs and juggle family and other commitments along with our time at HPVFD.

Calls we respond to include fires (obviously), gas leaks, power line troubles, alarm activations and motor vehicle accidents to name a few. We are active in the community of Highland Park and assist with functions like the annual 5K & Street Fair, the Police Department’s National Night Out, Holiday Ceremonies and more. We visit & engage students in the schools, host open houses for Fire Prevention Safety Awareness and travel to other towns for parades & departmental celebrations.

We take pride in what we do and train often to be ready for any call that comes our way.

If you are interested in learning more feel free to visit our “Volunteer” page at: or call Chief Jay Littman at 732-672-9879.

Training with East Franklin


On Sunday, November 30, 2014 the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department had an opportunity to attend & train with the East Franklin Fire Department & Bound Brook Fire Department during a Live Burn Training at the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center.


East Franklin is a frequent Mutual Aid call for HPVFD and the opportunity to train together helped build camaraderie while also observing tactics & team deployment.


Firefighters participated in four different scenarios and had a chance to work primary attack hoselines, backup hoselines, search & rescue and ventilation.

We are thankful to East Franklin for the invite & opportunity to train – it was a great day!

For more photos please see our Facebook Page at:

And visit the East Franklin Fire Department Photo Album on Facebook at: