A ceremony took place at North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue headquarters in West New York to promote four firefighters to captain. Francis Baker, Daniel Liberti, Victor Valentin and Brian Barreto all officially rose in rank on the morning of Dec. 17.
“By promoting these four firefighters to the rank of captain, we are ensuring that North Hudson residents receive the best emergency services from the finest leaders,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, who is also a department chairman. “With every promotion, new hire and grant we secure for this department, we are better equipping ourselves to serve the West New York, Weehawken, North Bergen, Union City, and Guttenberg communities. I congratulate our new fire captains and wish them well in their new roles.”
According to the state’s civil service guidelines, the process of becoming a captain involves having three years of experience on the force, and passing written and oral exams involving live scenarios with different types of structural fires.
“The four men promoted today have already demonstrated themselves as leaders,” Chief Frank Montagne said at the ceremony, “committed not only to this department but to the North Hudson residents they serve.”
Bigger and better
The four newly-promoted captains made rank in time to take on supervisory roles as North Hudson’s team of firefighters grows in numbers.
“We received a federal grant to hire 45 additional firefighters, and are in that hiring process now. We hope that they’ll be out of the academy and on the line by May. We’re a young department, and we’re growing. Promoting mid-range people who’ve got anywhere from 15 to 29 years experience is much-needed.”
With the new hires, the department aims to grow to 140 members. The regional service was first formed in 1999, when local departments from North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken, West New York, and Guttenberg merged to form a centralized service for North Hudson.