Could You Be Our Next Volunteer Firefighter?
Since the launch of the “Depend on Deptford” recruitment campaign in the summer of 2020, Deptford Fire Department has added 25 new
volunteers to serve the community and save lives. While the department is proud of this influx in new members, it still is not enough.
“We want the community to realize how many volunteer options are available,” said Michael White, Chairman of the Board of
Commissioners. “There are so many ways in which you can serve your community through the Deptford Fire Department.”
WAYS TO VOLUNTEER:
SENIOR FIREFIGHTERS – Upon completion of Firefighter 1,
head into burning buildings and save lives as a Deptford Township
JUNIOR FIREFIGHTERS – For those ages 16-17, develop
the required skills to become an active firefighter at 18. Respond to
incidents under supervision and contribute away from the flames.
CADETS – For those ages 12-15, learn fire safety techniques as
you grow as an individual and have fun.
FIRE POLICE – Provide traffic control at the scene of
emergencies for firefighters.
CANTEEN CREW – Provide rehabilitation services to
firefighters and other members at the scene of major incidents as
part of the Rehab Unit.
ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEERS – Assist the
department with paperwork, planning and events.
ALL TRAINING AND GEAR ARE PROVIDED AT NO CHARGE.
Visit WWW.DEPTFORDFD.ORG to sign up to volunteer today!
Union Fire Co. Makes History & News with All Female Crew
During Women’s History month in March, Union Fire Company made While this was the first time for an all-female crew, the women do not
history by utilizing an all-female crew to respond to calls from the view their volunteering as any more or less impactful than their male
station in Deptford. counterparts.
While women have been volunteering for quite some time now in “Being a woman volunteering at a fire company is no different than
Deptford, this was the first time a crew was made up of all women. The being a man volunteering,” said Fallon Conway, firefighter. “We’re all a
six women-crew, five active volunteers and one junior firefighter, even part of the same brotherhood at the end of the day.”
drew the attention of television professionals.
Both FOX 29 and 6 ABC visited the Union Fire Company to interview
the volunteers and witness for themselves the history being made at
the tail end of Women’s History Month in the United States.
During their interviews, the crew encouraged other women to volunteer.
“Do it, it’s rewarding. You gain confidence, pride, and strength being in
this environment,” said Lt. Jennifer Smith. “The fire department is like a
family; we grow together and learn together.”
Along with interviews, television crews were granted the opportunity to
capture videos of the volunteers performing a variety of activities such
as setting up hoses, getting geared up for calls, and apparatus demos.
Top of Class Deptford Firefighter is Poised
to Continue Family Legacy
Eighteen-year-old Aaron Yanginski joined the Deptford Fire
Department’s Tacoma Volunteer Company as a Senior Member this
past September. The first hurdle to working inside a burning building
is obtaining the Firefighter 1 national certification.
Not only did Yanginski pass the course, he also graduated number
one in his class. “It was the best feeling,” says Yanginski.
Growing up, Yanginski watched his father and then, his older sister
volunteer as firefighters for the Tacoma Company. “I spent lots of time
at the station. Everyone knew me.” He loved it.
Yanginski was so inspired by his father’s and sister’s service that he
followed in their footsteps.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to help people,” says
Yanginski. “That’s why I spent many years as a Boy Scout.”
So far, Yanginski has responded to three fires, the most significant
of which was the tragic West Deptford three-alarm fire in the early
morning hours of January 13th. The fire left a 54-year-old woman
dead and injured four of her family members, including a one-month-
old baby. And it destroyed two homes.
“The training “It was horrible,” says together, “we crack jokes and laugh a lot at the station.”
in basic first Yanginski. Right after the
aid and putting fire, the firefighters talked And he’s so pleased that the department will pay for any education he
out fires has about the experience and needs to become a better firefighter
were there for each other.
One firefighter advised In addition, says Aaron, “the training in basic first aid and putting out
him “not to think about the fires has enabled me to help others even when I’m not on a call.”
‘what ifs’.” That is, don’t For instance, says Aaron, “when I was on vacation, I came upon an
second guess what they overturned car on the highway. I jumped in to help.”
All of this has led Aaron to choose full-time, professional firefighting
enabled me His company is providing as his career. The Deptford Fire Department has such positions,
grief counselors and a which he’ll be able to apply for once he turns 21. In the meantime,
he’s content to be a volunteer member and continue to learn as much
to help others “group report,” at which as he can.
the team members will
The Deptford Fire Department is looking for standout volunteers.
even when I’m discuss the event. Says Department Chairman Michael White, “joining the Deptford
Township Fire Department is life-changing for each volunteer and for
not on a call.” Along with being there for the citizens we serve.”
each other, Yanginski is
For more information on how to apply for these
so impressed with how opportunities, go to www.deptfordfd.org
the members are there for
“people in their darkest
- Aaron Yanginski times. Everyone goes out
of their way to support the
victims.” He is moved by
the extra time and care they take to retrieve a family’s heirlooms.
He describes his team at Tacoma—about 28 members— as
“amazing.” With the team’s strong camaraderie, he feels he gained
a “second family.” Along with their work, they have a great time
Need a Speaker? Depend on Deptford
Community members are encouraged to seek out the Deptford Fire Department to arrange an opportunity to speak with
you and your organization! Our speakers can give insight on fire safety, teen programs, recruitment opportunities, lending
a hand to a neighbor, and much more!
“The Deptford Fire Department is open to speaking with any organization or group. There are a variety of topics that we
can cover which can relate to all members of our community in some way or another,” said Chairman Michael White. “The
department provides qualified speakers who will engage the audience and provide information that benefits the communi-
ty as a whole.”
If you are interested in scheduling a time for one of our speakers to come talk with your organization, school, or
group email: [email protected].
Francis Pote Appointed New Fire Marshal
of Deptford Fire Department
Involved with the fire service since 1982 and a to state fire code, overseeing all of the fire
career member of the Deptford Fire Department investigations and inspectors, keeping the
since 2001, Francis Pote brings a qualified necessary fire lanes kept clear at the scene of
resume, people skills, and an overarching desire emergencies, as well as several other duties.
for improvement to the department.
“On any given day in Deptford, you could have
“What I like about my job is getting to meet over 50,000 people in or driving through the town
new, interesting people every day and trying to due to its highway accessibility,” he said. “The
improve on the skills that I have already learned,” need for emergency personnel in the area cannot
he said. be ignored.”
As Fire Marshal, Pote’s responsibilities include
ensuring that businesses are inspected according
Robert Hill Assumes Post of
Robert Hill’s dedication to Deptford Fire “What I love most about what I do is helping
Department has shined through 36 years of others in their time of need and working with the
service. In his newly-appointed role as Fire community. I also enjoy the comraderie we all
Commissioner he is committed to ensuring share within Deptford Fire Department.”
efficient fire protection, working hard to keep the
fire tax rate affordable for residents, and making
certain the Township’s firefighters have the best
tools to get the job done.
Welcome New Battalion Chiefs!
Chief Robert Burkhardt - Battalion #5
With 32 years of service to Deptford Township under his belt, Robert Burkhardt brings a level of
experience that only few can offer in the field. He is supervising over the newly created Battalion
5, made up of all career firefighters. As a lifelong resident of Deptford, Burkhardt takes pride in
serving his community through both good times and bad.
“Honestly, I love everything about the job. The good, the bad, and the ugly,” he said. “The most
rewarding thing is being able to help someone at their worst moment in life.”
Burkhardt’s family and friends were thrilled and supportive of his promotion.
“They all know the passion that I have for the job and they know I have a lot of things to still offer
the Deptford Fire Department,” he said. “I look forward to making a lot of positive change for all of
Chief Jason Kell - Battalion #3
Firefighting for his entire adult life, Jason Kell joined the fire service at 17 and has served in
Deptford Township for 26 years. Serving as the Battalion #3 Chief, he will be supervising the
Almonesson Lake and Union volunteer companies.
“I really enjoy interacting with the public and other members of our department while on call or just
simply walking down the street,” he said. “Just meeting new people in general is something that
makes the job worth it.”
Kell will be overseeing two fire stations, and will have two captains and six lieutenants reporting
directly to him.
“Some goals that I want to achieve are to increase morale to where it used to be as well as joint
cross-training throughout the department,” he said.
1370 Delsea Drive
Deptford, NJ 08096
DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP BOARD OF
Michael J. White, Chairman
George Frank, Secretary
Raymond MacKay Jr., Treasurer
Robert C. Hill, Commissioner
Robert W. Sheairs, Commissioner
Donna M. Scally, Board Clerk & Clerk of Elections
Archer & Greiner P.C., Board Solicitor
Christine Schaffer, Clerk/Typist
FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE
Francis Pote, Fire Marshal
Michael Barbato-Buckley, Battalion 1
Rick Thomas, Battalion 2
Jason Kell, Battalion 3
James Spade, Battalion 4
Robert Burkhardt Jr., Battalion 5
“A sincere thank you to our Deptford Practice Fire Safety
Township taxpayers for voting to this BBQ Season
support this year’s fire department
budget. Because of you, we can Here are some tips on how to keep your home
upgrade our radio communication and family safe while serving up delicious
system between interior and exterior grilled meals:
firefighters, gear up 20 firefighters
to save lives, and purchase new l P ropane and Charcoal grills should only be used
incident reporting software. The outdoors.
pandemic has had a dramatic
financial impact on first responders l Always keep your grill a safe distance from your house.
everywhere, but your support l C reate a “kid-free” zone of at least three feet around your
ensures that we are there when you
need us.” grill and teach kids to maintain that distance.
l Keep grills away from awnings and fences.
Michael White, Chairman l After cooking with a gas grill, make sure you immediately
Deptford Township Board of Fire Commissioners turn off the valve.
l For charcoal grills, use only charcoal starter fluid.
l Never leave your grill unattended, for any reason.
Thank you to 856 Photography for
supplying some photos for this newsletter
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