Chief Lisa Parker is pleased to announce Manchester Township’s first paid career Fire Department, Station 76, with the swearing in of nine firefighters. Mayor Kenneth T. Palmer administered their oaths of office on May 27, 2021.

“We are committed to this program and to see it succeed for the betterment of the community,” Mayor Palmer said to an audience of family and friends of the firefighters.  Mayor Palmer also acknowledged the dangers of firefighting and assured the families that the members of Station 76 will have the best equipment and training before sending them into harm’s way.

With his left hand on the Firefighter’s Bible and right hand risen, Firefighter Captain Roger Brown, was the first to be sworn in.  With the experience, training, and knowledge gained from being a volunteer firefighter since the age of 19 and being a career firefighter with the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Fire Department, Captain Brown will lead and supervise Station 76. Following his swearing in; Andrew Christensen, Michael Ott, Neal Lelievre, Salem Bahr, Mark Costner, John Filardo, Daniel Mechkowski, and Rachel Murray took the oath, earning the title of Firefighter/EMT. All firefighters sworn in today have, at minimum, certificates in Firefighter I and Basic EMT. Together, they will attend the Toms River Fire Academy for additional training and team building.  Once they have completed their training they will be assigned to work the dayshift. Members of the Manchester, Ridgeway, and Whiting Volunteer Fire Departments will continue to provide essential firefighting services to the residents of the township. 

Chief Parker also detailed that the intensive hiring process began in March of 2021, when approximately 60 individuals submitted their applications for employment. For the first phase, applicants participated in the Physical Agility Examination and Written Examination. From there, the top scorers went before the Oral Board for extensive interviews. Those candidates considered for employment underwent a thorough background investigation and submitted to medical, psychological, and drug screenings.

In addition to Chief Parker and Mayor Palmer, members of the Manchester Township Council, Manchester Township Police Department, and Manchester Township of Emergency Medical Services were in attendance to show support and welcome the firefighters into the Manchester Township family.

“We are now the only municipality in the State of New Jersey where Police, Fire, and EMS will operate under one command as an elite group of highly trained professionals. One unity of command committed to serving our community. I hope that this becomes the model for other municipalities to follow,” said Chief Parker.