WARREN COUNTY, NJ – The Warren County Board of County Commissioners saluted those who serve in the county’s fire companies as they marked International Firefighters’ Day with a proclamation.
“You guys are truly heroes, because you’re running in when others are running out,” Commissioner Director Lori Ciesla told the group of firefighters from the Warren County Fire Chiefs Association who accepted the proclamation.
International Firefighters’ Day was established in 1999 after five firefighters died during a bushfire in Australia the previous year, and has since become a day in May to say thank you to the world’s firefighters for all that they do to keep our communities safe.
Commissioner Jason J. Sarnoski, who read the proclamation, said that his father was a volunteer fireman and remembered times the older Sarnoski would be called to respond to blazes in their hometown.
Firefighters don’t know “when or sometimes if you were getting back home,” Sarnoski said, remarking it was “certainly scary times for my mom and us, but we knew he was doing his duty and serving his community and protecting others. Thankfully he did, and most of his friends did, get home safely.”
“The county continues to keep its commitment to running a great fire academy to train firefighters,” Sarnoski said. “I thank you guys for your service and all you do.”
“You are always there protecting Warren County, and sometimes outside the county,” Commissioner James R. Kern III said. “Many firefighters are volunteers with their departments while also having jobs but when the call happens, you respond, and for that we are incredibly grateful.”
Brian Kostenbader, chief of Tri-County Volunteer Fire Company in Mansfield Township and president of the Warren County Fire Chiefs Association, thanked the commissioners for the recognition on behalf of the association. “We appreciate you recognizing what we do, so thank you,” he remarked.
Accompanying Kostenbader at the presentation were Chief Joseph Fox, Sr., coordinator of the Warren County Fire Academy; county Fire Marshal Joe Lake; Stewartsville Fire Company Chief Joe Mecsey; Phillipsburg Fire Department Chief Richard Hay and Battalion Chief John Lefler, who also is deputy chief of the county Fire Academy; and Dennis Riley, President of the Good Will Fire Company in Belvidere.