NJ firefighters’ union president and North Bergen native dies

Dominick Marino was a brave firefighter and vigorous advocate

President of PFANJ Dominick Marino
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President of PFANJ Dominick Marino

Dominick Marino, president of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, has died, according to a post on the association’s social media.

Marino was a North Bergen native who had been a firefighter in the township.

He served for more than 25 years as a firefighter in the North Bergen Fire Department and North Hudson Regional Fire Rescue, retiring from active service in 2011. He held multiple leadership positions in the firefighter union locals in both departments.

According to the association, Marino served for many years as 2nd Vice President and Treasurer of the PFANJ, the chartered state association of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), before becoming president in 2008.

Marino also served as the North Bergen Firefighter union president prior to the formation of the North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue (NHRFR). He was the NHRFR union president after its inception.

North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nicholas Sacco called Marino a great public servant and offered his condolences to the family.

“We are profoundly saddened by the death of Mr. Marino,” Sacco said. “We join his family, friends and loved ones in their mourning and wish them strength and grace during this difficult time.”

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, who worked with Marino to help 9/11 responders, said he would miss Marino’s advice.

“Dominick Marino was a tireless and vigorous advocate for New Jersey’s firefighters,” Menendez said. “Truly one of our state’s bravest, he never backed down from a fight and put the health and safety of his members first and foremost.”

Menendez said he was proud to work with Marino to develop and pass the Firefighter Cancer Registry, extend lifetime benefits for 9/11 heroes, and increase federal investments to ensure firehouses have the staffing and equipment they need to protect local communities.

“I will always appreciate and miss Dominick’s counsel on some of the most pressing issues facing our first responders,” Menendez said. “My heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and all the members of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey mourning this tremendous loss.”

Commended by Gov. Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy also lamented the loss of his friend Marino, recalling his bravery.

“Dominick Marino didn’t just run into burning buildings, he knocked down walls to protect his fellow firefighters,” Murphy said. “He put his heart and soul into everything he did for his members, and in doing so he exemplified everything you ever could want from a leader.

Murphy said that one of the great honors of his governorship was signing the Thomas P. Canzanella 21st Century First Responders Protection Act, noting that the bill could just as easily have carried Marino’s name because of the dedication he showed in getting the legislation passed.

“I will miss his friendship and good counsel, and his regular check -ins, including this week,” Murphy said. “He was one of a kind. My deepest condolences go out to his family, his membership, and the entire New Jersey firefighting community.”

Marino was 61. It is not clear what the cause of death was, nor if it was COVID-19 related.

Marino leaves behind his wife Ellen and two children.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.