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Fort Lee's Four Fire Companies Celebrate Another Year

Fort Lee Fire Department's annual inspection dinner

The celebrated another year of service at their annual inspection dinner at Seasons in Washington Township Saturday night. 

After an invocation by Rabbi Meir Berger of the and Rev. Dominick Apollo of the , outgoing Fire Chief Jeff Silver led the department in acknowledging members' years of service.

Silver awarded pins to the following people:

  • 5 years: Paul Kim, Jonathan O'Connor, Paul DePalma, Kyle Jensen and Thomas Worner, Jr.
  • 10 years: Jeffrey Pascale
  • 15 years: Michael Contento
  • 20 years: Heather Corcoran, Frederico Cheaz
  • 25 years: Donald Sauvageot
  • 35 years: Steven Curry, Joe Klein
  • 45 years: Terry Holtje, Bruce Holtje
  • 50+ years: Lester Ghent, Al Grigolo, Butch Lyons, Charles Nicolich

A moment of silence was held in memory of deceased members, including former Chief Hugo Amitrano, Donald O'Prandy and Louis Taus. Deborah O'Prandy spoke to the members to publicly thank them for all they did to help see her through a very difficult time and acknowledged that the fire department is an extended family, especially in times of need.

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich thanked the fire department for their dedication to service, as did Councilmen and department liaisons Harvey Sohmer and Michael Sargenti. Assemblywoman and Freeholder-elect Joan Voss made a presentation to Silver for his service as chief of the department.

Fort Lee's next Fire Chief, Deputy Chief and Battalion Chief, Keith Sabatino, Mark Sulcov and William Chiappane, respectively, also spoke about the upcoming year. 

Every year an inspection trophy is awarded to the fire house whose trucks, equipment and house are in the best order. But this year no inspection trophy was awarded. Instead, the trophy will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

After the presentations and speeches the party started, as the music and the guests got loud. Nobody can blow off steam like the fire department, and it was evident on the dance floor, where no one seemed to want to take a break, not even for dinner. Santa even made an appearance and seemed to enjoy himself enormously.

The crowd came back home to Fort Lee where the party continued at "Naps" () with the legendary Jamie hosting at the bar.

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