FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newark, NJ – July 14, 2011 – Mayor Cory A. Booker, Business Administrator Julien X. Neals, Fire Director Fateen A. Ziyad, Police Director Samuel A. DeMaio, and Fire Chief John Centanni launched the City of Newark’s first-ever joint weekly training exercises for the Police and Fire Departments on Wednesday, July 13, at the Fire Department Training Academy at 191 Orange Street. The 9-week training exercises will help better prepare both agencies for first response to multi-vehicle accidents and other emergency incidents.
The training will be held once a week on Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., through mid-September at the Fire Department Training Academy. A different engine and ladder company, along with 25 members of the Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit, will participate in the nine-week training exercise, which is being conducted by Newark Fire Department Special Operations and Police Department Emergency Services Unit instructors. The goal of the training is to familiarize the two agencies with all the assets of each others’ resources, such as rescue equipment, vehicles, capabilities, and procedures. The two municipal agencies handle as many as 15,000 vehicle extrications annually.
At the first training session, Mayor Booker and City Business Administrator Julien X. Neals, Esq., greeted the participants before they went to work. Then, in full gear, the Police Emergency Service Unit and Ladder Company 9 broke out their extrication equipment, and removed the top and doors from two junked cars, working seamlessly to extract two mannequins, which stood in for “crash victims.”
“Newark’s Finest and Newark’s Bravest share the same mission: to protect and serve the residents of the City of Newark. This training will enable them to work more closely together than ever, provide higher quality emergency response services, and most importantly, save lives,” said Mayor Booker. “I want to express my gratitude to this extraordinary team. They are doing our best to keep us strong. In every way, they are the most exceptional police and fire departments in New Jersey.”
“I recently took part in emergency operations training in Texas with Newark employees,” said Business Administrator Neals. “And I and the other employees gained a new appreciation of what our police officers and firefighters do every day. I salute you.”
“We want these two agencies to operate as one when they respond to joint incidents,” said Director Ziyad. “Inter-operability, communication, and teamwork will save lives and protect our residents when disaster strikes. Future collaborative training initiatives are being considered that will increase public safety for Newark’s citizens. There are a number of areas in which fire and police interact yet have not done formal training together. Acting Police Director DeMaio and I understand this and see a great opportunity to better serve our community by addressing those areas with dual departmental training to form a more coordinated, cohesive response to emergencies. We want one public safety division, which is about service to the residents.”
“No one knows when or where an emergency might appear in Newark. But we all know that the Newark Police and Fire Departments will be first on the scene. This training will ensure that they work together efficiently and professionally in any emergency,” said Director DeMaio.
“There are many occasions when our police and fire departments respond to an emergency together,” said Chief Centanni. “This training will ensure that they do so seamlessly and professionally, so that we can protect lives and property more efficiently. We are committed to putting in the resources to make sure this training works. We are as committed at our command level as I am sure you are committed to it at yours. This is the first step of a long journey of collaborative effort.”
The training involves exercises that simulate extrications of people trapped or seriously injured in major car accidents. The training exercises will focus on vehicle stabilization, extrication and hose line protection to increase efficiency and effectiveness in joint response to emergency incidents. Firefighters and police officers will use vehicle extrication tools to remove “victims” from multiple wrecked vehicles. Each fire company will rotate through the training, as will the Police Emergency Service Unit. Battalion Chief Arthur Mauriello, who heads the Fire Department’s Special Operations Unit, is coordinating the training.
“The training went very well,” said Capt. Mario Martin, Executive Officer of the Police Emergency Services Unit. “We’re working together to accomplish a common goal: to serve the people of Newark.”
Since 2006, the Newark Fire Department has opened new and renovated fire stations, and added new vehicles to its inventory. In 2008, the Department graduated the 39th Recruit Class of 18 recruits from the Fire Academy In October 2009, the Newark Fire Department unveiled its new 41-foot-long Hazmat and Heavy Rescue truck which will provide firefighters with a wide array of state-of-the-art equipment, including a 9,000-pound winch, a 9,000-watt light tower, a Robotic Search Camera to investigate disasters areas difficult to access, and extrication tools for car crashes.
Over the past four years the Fire Department has also purchased three new fire engines; two ladder trucks, and several support and utility units, reducing the average age of its vehicles to close to 50 percent. The Department also saw a restructuring that led to a 67 percent reduction in overtime, as well as the creation of the region’s first Urban Search and Rescue Unit, as well as the employment of new technology, such as voice-amplified face pieces, a new CASCADE rehabilitation and tank filling apparatus, and a state-of-the-art Voice Alert System.
The Newark Fire Department also has a number of specialized units, including an Arson Unit, a Hazardous Materials Unit, a Fireboat, a Confined Space Rescue Team, a Foam Tanker, and a Cascade Unit, which responds to emergency scenes to fill air bottles. In addition, the Department is one of only nine in the State of New Jersey whose Metro Strike Team has a Collapse Unit, to deal with collapsed buildings. Most of the Department’s specialized units are assigned for regional response, to assist neighboring communities that lack such equipment and training.
Under the Booker Administration, the City of Newark has formed several new partnerships and launched numerous new initiatives and policing strategies. Since being created in 2006, the Newark Police Foundation has raised thousands of dollars in philanthropic donations to support the purchase and deployment of new crime-fighting technology, including the deployment of more than one hundred wireless video surveillance cameras, a sonic gunshot detection system, a new state-of-the-art emergency services vehicle, and the operation of the City’s “Crime Stopper” and “Gun Stopper” anonymous tip lines.
More than 1,100 officers make up the Newark Police Department, making it the largest municipal department in the State of New Jersey. This September, the Department is scheduled to open its new 5th Precinct in the South Ward, a state-of-the-art 75,000-square-foot facility that will include the City’s Office of Emergency Management. The Department also received a $1 million grant earlier this year to provide for a specialized vehicle that can read license plates numbers.
For more information about any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
Contact: Press Information Office: (973) 733-8004
About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major rail connections, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
With a new Administration as of July 2006, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. In population, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the northeast. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The production of affordable housing has doubled, businesses are returning and crime is going down. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.
For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at www.ci.newark.nj.us