Fire District Budget, Candidate Election Is Feb. 16

Photo courtesy of Jackson Fire Department, Facebook

JACKSON – The township’s three fire districts are part of the upcoming Board of Fire Commissioners election taking place at respective polling locations in the districts from 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Each district is run by a five-member Board of Fire Commissioners which are elected to govern the district by securing funding through fire taxes, financial oversight and establishing policy.

Fire District No. 2 features members of the Whitesville Volunteer Firehouse on Hope Chapel Road and the Cassville Volunteer Firehouse where voting will take place at 785 Miller Ave.

Board members include Board President Vincent Rubio, Vice President John Ryan, treasurer Robert Redington, Secretary John Poppe II and liaison Martin Flemming.

One three-year seat is open and two people are seeking it. They are John Alchevsky and Jeffrey Riker.

The $2,463,915 total budget includes $1,948,350 to be raised by taxes. During a special vote held in September voters approved the expenditure of an aerial ladder for $900,000 and new radios at a cost not to exceed $350,000.

Fire District No. 3 which covers the most densely populated area in the northeast section of the township is protected by a combination fire department comprised of both volunteer and career members.

The district has two seats of three-year terms open this year. Incumbents Edward Keller and Wayne Keegan are running for those spots.

Other district commissioners include Rudy Brito, TJ Larsen, and Jack Siedler. The election will be held at the district’s fire house at 200 Kierych Memorial Dr.

The third district’s budget totals $3,288,460 with $3,096,703 to be raised by taxation.

Keller said “the biggest purchase we had to budget for was new radios due to Ocean County changing the radio broadband system. We had to approve a lease agreement to get all new radios for our apparatus and portable radios for our firefighters that work with the new broadband system so we will be able to communicate effectively at emergency incidents.

“This past year we have approved equipment to keep our firefighters safe and moved money in our budget to improve training opportunities for our firefighters. One of the pieces of equipment we have purchased for our firefighters are bailout kits (and training to use them) in case a firefighter has to evacuate through a window if a fire overwhelms them so they can get out safe. Another item we purchased is particulate fire hoods that will offer an extra layer of protection for firefighters from cancer causing agents,” Keller added.

Fire District No. 4 is a combination Fire Department employing six career firefighters during the daytime hours (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Monday to Friday. The district’s Board of Fire Commissioners also contracts with Jackson Mills Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 for fire suppression coverage around the clock.

The fire companies within District 4 are located on North County Line Road and West Commodore Boulevard. Some of their daily assignments include fire suppression, rescue and first responder EMS, fire inspections and prevention.

Commissioners include John Bollentin, Philip Goldman, Wallace Jamison, Raymond Torres Jr. and Kenneth Esposito.

The district has one three-year seat open for election with two candidates seeking it. Esposito, who served a one-year term this past year is running against challenger Shane O’Brien.   The district has a $2,282,887 budget with $1,628,045 to be raised by taxes. Capital improvements, approved during a special election held last summer, include a $400,000 radio upgrade and $150,000 in building improvements.