The New Milford Volunteer Fire Department rang in the New Year with tradition by installing its officers for 2012. James Tufaro was sworn in as Chief of the Department and officers representing both Company 1 and Company 2 were also installed. Outgoing Fire Chief Ralph Leonardi received a pin for his service from Councilman Dominic Colucci, who is also council liaison to the fire department.
Company 2 played host to the event which was attended by department members, their friends and family, officers from other local fire departments and local officials including Mayor Ann Subrizi, Council President Howard Berner, council members Dominic Colucci, Randi Duffie and Austin Ashley, and NMPD Chief Frank Papapietro, who is also a Life Member of Company 2.
Former Chief Bob Ryan from Company 2 was the master of ceremonies. Chief James Tufaro was installed as Chief of the Department for 2012. Jeremiah Nolan from Company 2 was installed as Deputy Chief and Tony Castella from Company 1 was installed as Asst. Chief. Company 1 installed Captain David Stormer and Lieutenant Ross Rhein. Company Two installed Captain Joseph McNulty III and Lieutenant Jose Tapia.
As Mayor Subrizi stepped to the microphone to begin the swearing in, the engine room began to swell with past chiefs, officers and firemen who have served with the NMFD for many years. The engine room echoed with their laughter as they traded stories and reminisced about days gone by. Collectively, these men have run out on more family dinners, more holidays, more birthday parties and date nights than their families care to recount.
These are the men who jumped onto moving firetrucks, or ran to grab the outstretched hands of a brother to be hoisted onto the truck as it sped down Trenton or Center Streets to answer a call.
These are the men who fought fires before fire codes required advanced warning systems such as smoke detectors and sprinkler systems bringing them close enough to the fire to carry scars of burns on their hands, necks and faces.
And here they gathered to celebrate the installation of their friends and fellow members.
Once the ceremony concluded, the music started, the food was brought out and the party began.