River Road Fire Company was in the holiday spirit having our
annual Santa Run, escorting Santa around the district. During
the the journey, we came across several future firefighters.
Thanks to everyone who made the event possible.
- At around 0400 hours the River Road Fire Company was requested in the
area of River Road and Hoes Lane West for the MVA with an overturned
vehicle. Upon arrival crews found a victim with fatal injuries. Fire
units stood by to provide traffic control and assist the police accident
investigation team with lighting. Upon completion of the investigation,
crews removed the vehicles door to gain access to the victim. Units
cleared up around 0730 hours and returned to quarters.
- Today at 1730 hours the River Road Fire Company responded for a fire
standby at the Rutgers University Football Stadium for the nationally
televised game where the #15 Rutgers Scarlet Knights upset the #3
Louisville Cardinals, 28-25. The game was one of the biggest games in
Rutgers football history with a record breaking crowd in attendance of
44,111. Engine 652, Rescue 655, and Unit 658 were on hand with Chief of
Department Florek, Asst. Chief Smolko, Lt. Maas, and Firefighters
Abraham, Barnoski, J. Cercatore, P. Cercatore, Fiorino, Flasser, N.
Recine, Simon, and Sorrentino. River Road Fire assisted Rutgers
University Emergency Services with fire protection as they have done for
every Rutgers home game in recent history. During the game, River Road
Fire responded to numerous calls including a reported unknown type fire
and a motor vehicle accident. Several other local, county, state, and
federal agencies were involved in the massive coordination for the
event. Several celebrities and dignitaries were in attendance as well.
All units cleared up around 0100hrs.
- At around 1400 hours the River Road
Fire Company was requested in the are of River Road near the deer pens located
within Johnson's park for the reported car into a pole. Upon arrival crews found
a vehicle which had taken down a telephone pole and a dump truck in the roadway.
No extrication was required so crews remained on scene to block traffic as the
involved vehicles were removed from the roadway by the wrecker. Units cleared up
around 1445 hours.
- At around 0930 hours the River Road Fire Company participated in its
annual drill at the Colgate-Palmolive Technologies Corporation off of
River Road. The scenario took place on a mother-daughter day at
the office. A chemical accident occurred in the loading dock area
followed by fumes spreading throughout the rest of the building,
incapacitating several of the mothers and daughters. River Road
Engine 652 and Truck 656 responded with Asst. Chief J. Smolko and
Firefighters Barnoski, J. Cercatore, P. Cercatore, Flasser, Keuntsner,
Simon, and Sorrentino. Upon arrival Engine 652 setup a mass
decontamination shower and also performed search and rescue.
Members rescued all 22 patients located inside the building. The
drill was labeled a success and companies cleared up around 1200hrs.
Special thanks to Colgate for allowing the use of their facility and the
Girl Scouts for volunteering as patients. Other agencies involved
included Rutgers EMS and Emergency Services, the Middlesex County
Coordinator, the Holmes Marshall and Possumtown Fire Companies, Arbor
Rescue Squad, Piscataway Police, and Piscataway OEM.
- Today at around 1830 hours the River Road Fire Company was requested
into the borough of Highland Park while the Highland Park Fire
Department while they were operating at an apartment fire on Crowells
Rd. River Road Engine 651 responded with Chaeuffer Barnoski, Asst. Chief
Smolko, and Firefighters J. Cercatore, P. Cercatore, N. Recine, and
Sorrentino. The North Stelton Fire Company also responded for the
standby at fire headquarters with Truck 627. Both companies stood by
until 2015 hours, at which time they were released.
- Today at around 18:45 hours the River Road Fire Company was requested
into Rutgers University Bush Campus for a motor vehicle accident
involving multiple vehicles. Rescue 655 responded with Lt. Maas and
Firefighters P. Cercatore, Flasser, and Winkler along with Chief of
department Florek in unit 658. Upon arrival the crew found a sport
utility vehicle on its side along with multiple cars damaged from the
incident. The accident amazingly occurred in the commuter parking lot
located next the the Rutgers University football stadium.. There was no
extrication needed, so the crew stood by for fluid leakage management
and scene lighting for the accident investigation. Other units on scene
include the Holmes Marshal Fire Company and Rutgers University Emergency
- It is with the deepest regret that we inform the passing
of longtime River Road Fire Company
Life member Peter "Tippy" Timpanaro. Tippy was a great firefighter and
friend who exemplified what "brotherhood" was all about. His lifetime of contributions to
the River Road Fire Company will be greatly missed.
- At around 23:00 hours the River Road Fire Company was requested to
respond in the area of 700 River Road for the reported motor vehicle
accident with a vehicle on fire. Engine 651, Engine 652, Rescue 655, and
Unit 658 responded with Chief of Department Florek, Asst. Chief
Smolko, Lt. Maas, Lt. Szymonowicz and firefighters Abraham, Barnoski,
Flasser, J. Cercatore, P. Cercatore, R. Recine, Simon, Sorrentino, and
Winkler. Upon arrival Engine 651 found a fully involved pickup truck
which ended up on its side after plowing through a tree, completely
uprooting it and splitting it in half. The fire was extinguished, and
three patients were transported to nearby hospitals. A fourth victim
was pronounced on the scene, making the accident a fatality. Rescue 655
was requested to stay to provide lighting for the scene as police
conducted their investigation. Other units on scene included the Holmes
Marshall Fire Company and various BLS and ALS units. Units on scene
cleared up after the investigation was complete around 0500 hours.
- At around 06:30 hours the River Road Fire Company received the call
for one engine company to standby at New Brunswick fire headquarters
while they were operating at a 4-alarm night club fire. Engine 652
responded with Asst. Chief Smolko and Firefighters J. Cercatore,
Wiklanski, and Winkler. After standing by until around 09:30 hours
Engine 652 was moved up to the scene. River Road members assisted in
overhaul and extinguishing hotspots. Engine 652 cleared up around 12:30
- Tonight at 19:00 hours the River Road Fire Company held its monthly
extrication drill. Joined by members of the Holmes Marshall Fire
Company, the firefighters practiced door and roof removal, stabilization
of cars, and other extrication techniques and skills.
- At around 2340 hours the River Road Fire Company received a report of
a car fire at the Mayflower Apartments on River Road. Unit 658 responded
with Chief Florek and Engine 652 responded with Lt. Maas and
Firefighters P. Cercatore, J. Cercatore, and Simon. Upon arrival
Unit 658 reported a working car fire with exposure problems to other
cars. Engine 652's crew utilized the 1 1/2 foam line to contain the fire
to the one car. Units cleared up around 0010 hours after overhaul, which
was assisted by Possumtown Fire Company. Other units on scene included
Possumtown Unit 638 and Engine 632.
- Around 1500 hours the River Road Fire Company was dispatched to a
reported grass fire on Route 287 in the center median. Engine 652
responded with Asst. Chief Smolko and Firefighter J. Cercatore. Upon
arrival Engine 652 found a large area of brush on fire spreading both
ways down 287. Engine 652 utilized a booster line and 1 1/2 foam line to
contain the brush fire to an area of 20x20. Other units on scene were
Possumtown Unit 638 and Holmes Marshall Unit 678. Units cleared the
scene around 1530 hours.
- At around 21:00 hours the River Road Fire Company was called out to
Rivercrest Drive for a working car fire in the driveway engulfing a
tree. Unit 658 responded with Chief Florek and right behind him was
Engine 652 with Asst. Chief Smolko, Lt. Maas, and Firefighters J.
Cercatore, Daughton, N. Recine, and Wiklanski. Upon arrival Chief Florek
found a pickup truck with heavy fire coming from the rear cab and bed.
Engine 652's crew utilized the foam line to make quick work of the fire.
After overhaul, Engine 652 returned to quarters around 21:20 hours.
Today at 0930 hours the River Road Fire Company
and East Franklin Fire Department participated in an SCBA Confidence
Drill at the Piscataway Fire Training Grounds. Instructed by Captain
Eddie Glover of the East Franklin Fire Department, members from both
departments practiced following hose lines and maneuvering through
obstacles such as attic rafters, passing between wall studs and removing
wires with zero visibility. Both companies drilled until around 1230
- The River Road
Fire Company would like to welcome the newest addition to our family,
Megan Elizabeth Winkler was born on Tuesday 06-27-2006, weighing in at
7lbs 7ozs to parents Firefighter Peter Winkler and Mother Kelly Winkler.
Both parents and child are doing fine. Our congratulations to the family
and proud parents.
13:00 hours the River Road Fire was
to the area of River Road and Rt. 18 for the reported overturned tractor
trailer with possible smoke coming from the trailer. Engine 651
responded with Chauffeur
Kuenstner and firefighters Flasser and Sorrentino. While enroute Holmes
Marshall 672 arrived on scene and reported an over turned lumber truck
and minutes later Engine 651 arrived and reported to the command post.
Firefighter Sorrentino checked the truck with a imaging camera and
reported no fire. Engine 672 remained on scene for 3 hours while the
truck was turned upright. Other units on scene included Rutgers
Emergency Services and Piscataway Police.
- At 1900 hours
the River Road Fire Company held its monthly extrication drill at
Station 650. Others in attendance for the drill included the Possumtown
and Holmes Marshall Fire Companies. Members from all three companies
practiced vehicle stabilization and procedures and ideas for door and
- At around 1700 hours the River Road Fire Company was dispatched to a
reported car fire between exits 9 and 8 on Route 287. Engine 651
responded with Chauffeur Barnoski and Firefighters J. Cercatore and
Sorrentino. Shortly there after Engine 652 responded with Lt. Maas,
Engineer Harding and Firefighters P. Cercatore and N. Recine. Upon
arrival Engine 651 found a fully involved car fire just before exit 8.
Firefighters J. Cercatore and Sorrentino stretched an 1 3/4 line and
made a quick knock on the fire. Engine 652 provided assistance with
overhaul and both units cleared up around 1720 hours.
- It is with the deepest regret that we inform the passing of River Road
Member Joe Smith (1943-2006).His contributions to the River Road Fire
Company will be missed.
It is with the utmost
sorrow that the River Road Fire Company
recognizes the ultimate sacrifice made by
Firefighter Kevin Apuzzio, of the East Franklin
Fire Department, today while performing a rescue
at a structure fire in their district. Our
prayers and thoughts go out to the friends and
family of Firefighter Apuzzio and all of his
brothers at Station 27 in this most difficult of
times. Our prayers also go out to Firefighters
Ryan Daughton, Nick Recine and their families
who are currently recovering from their injuries
also sustained at the same fire. Firefighters
Daughton and Recine are members of both River
Road and East Franklin serving both communities
proudly. Here's to a speedy
recovery for our two brothers.
- At around 0800 hours the River Road Fire
Company was dispatched to the area of River Road
and Highland Avenue for the reported motor
vehicle accident involving a school bus with
entrapment. Units responding included Unit 658
with Chief of Department Florek, Rescue 655 with
Chaueffer M. Syzmonowicz, Lt. Maas and
Firefighters J. Cercatore, N. Recine, and Simon,
and Engine 652 with Asst. Chief Smolko and
Firefighters Daughton, Fiorino, and Sorrentino
responded. Upon arrival Unit 658 reported a
yellow school bus hanging over a 5 ft.
embankment with the drivers side pinned against
a tree with the driver and driver's aide heavily
pinned inside the bus. Rescue 655 arrived and
immediately stabilized the bus over the
embankment. Upon Engine 652's arrival the right
side of the bus was completely removed to gain
access to the driver and driver's aide. Mutual
aid was then requested from the North Stelton
Fire Company's heavy rescue since this
would be a prolonged extrication. Rescue 655 and
Engine 652's crew removed the right side of the
bus and assisted BLS and ALS units in removing
the driver's aide. North Stelton then provided
relief for the River Road crews and removed the
driver. Units cleared up around 1030 hours and
returned to quarters.
- At 1900 hours members participated in a motor
vehicle extrication drill, practicing techniques
for vehicle stabilization, patient removal, and
equipment use. The department personnel cut up 2
cars while gaining access to the trunk and hood,
and performing door removals, a roof roll, dash
roll and a 3rd door conversion. The drill lasted
about 2 hours and helped reinforce extrication
methods and ideas.
- Today around 1900 hours members of the River
Road Fire Company went over to Rutgers
University's Bush Campus for an Elevator
Emergency Training class presented by Rutgers
University Emergency Services Captain Keleman.
Members were familiarized with the different
types of elevators and their operations along
with several rescue techniques in both a
classroom and practical session. The class
concluded around 2130 hours and allowed members
to gain knowledge and new techniques in elevator
- At 1845 hours River Road Fire Company Engine
651 and Truck 656 were requested to respond into
Piscataway District 4 where the North Stelton
Fire Company was operating at a working
apartment complex fire on Mindy Lane. Engine 651
and Truck 656 responded with Asst. Chief Smolko,
Capt. Kuenstner, Engineer Harding, and
Firefighters Abraham, J. Cercatore, P.
Cercatore, Flasser, R. Recine, and Wojtowicz.
Upon arrive Truck 656 laddered the roof and
setup next to North Stelton Truck 627 who were
setup for access to the third floor. The truck
crew proceeded to ventilate the roof with a
trench cut which would aid in stopping the fire
from progressing and causing even further damage
to the structure. As the fire spread, an
addition Truck from Dunellen was called in and
all 3 proceeded to knock the fire with master
streams. In order to accommodate the 3 master
streams in operation, 2 additional 5 inch supply
lines were laid totaling about 2500 ft.
Companies on scene included the New Market Fire
Dept., Possumtown Fire Co., Holmes Marshall Fire
Co., South Plainfield, Metuchen, New Brunswick,
several BLS units, and several other companies.
River Road crews remained on scene until about
0230 hours helping with overhaul operations and
knocking hot spots.
- Today firefighters Daughton and Wiklanski were
detailed to Knollwood Elementary School in
support of the Reading Across America Campaign
and also for Dr. Seuss's Birthday. Firefighters
Daughton and Wiklanski read stories to children
in grades K-3 and presented a Fire Safety
demonstration. Afterwards, they made their
rounds through the classrooms and answered
questions from the students and staff. Assisting
them throughout the detail, was Dr. Paula Maas,
Board of Education member and wife of Lieutenant
Estevan Maas. Firefighters Daughton and
Wiklanski were invited back, along with the rest
of the River Road Fire Company for a
presentation during Fire Prevention Week in
October. Details are pending regarding the fire
prevention opportunity to interact with the
At around 1030 hours the River Road Fire
was dispatched into the Borough of Middlesex at
145 River Road for an explosion/working
structure fire. Engine 651 responded with
Chauffeur Kuenstner and Firefighters Barnoski
Jr., N. Recine, J. Cercatore and Sorrentino.
Engine 651 arrived on location within minutes
and was told that they were to provide coverage
at the scene for the borough. The explosion
started in a holding tank for sulfur amines and
as Middlesex companies started to extinguish the
fire they reported fire showing from the
roof of the warehouse and other holding tanks so
command ordered the crew from 651 to report to
the rear of the structure. Operations ordered
Firefighters Barnoski Jr., N. Recine and
Sorrentino to take a 1 3/4 hand line to the main
fire tank and after a few minutes of operating
the line, the crew was covered in the chemical.
Middlesex and Bound Brook were operating on the
roof and inside the warehouse extinguishing
other parts of the fire. The crew then took 2
hand lines to the main tank and started to flow
foam and after approximately 45 minutes the fire
was extinguished. The entire crew had to be
decontaminated and their gear was removed and
put in to plastic bags which were to be
destroyed by the EPA. Units operating on scene
were Middlesex Fire Dept., Bound Brook Fire
Dept., Green Brook Fire Dept., Dunellen Fire
Dept., a full response from Middlesex County
Hazmat and a full response from Middlesex OEM
along with EMS from Middlesex and Bound Brook.
Engine 651 operated on scene for 5 hours after
which they were released from the scene and
returned to quarters.
- Tonight members of the River Road Fire Company
and representatives from several surrounding
companies, including the North Stelton Fire
Company, New Market Fire Department, Highland
Park Fire Department, and several others,
gathered for the 2006 Officer's Installation
Dinner. The festivities included presentation of
awards for 25 years of service to Ex-Chiefs Phil
Cercatore and John Smolko who were also proudly
made life members of the company. In addition to
the 25 year awards, a special award was given to
Ex-Chief Charles Flasser for his 45+ years of
service. Congratulations to all award recipients
and we appreciate your continued service for the
company. As well as awards being given out, the
fire company also welcomed in its 2006 Line and
Executive Officers. A memorable slideshow
presentation was also created by banquet
committee chairman Firefighter Ryan Daughton.
The festivities went long into the night and was
a good time for everyone attending. The night
would not have been possible without the help of
the banquet committee members, Ladies Auxiliary,
and everyone else that had a part in the events
organization, so a special thank you goes out to
- Today at around 1800 hours Cub Scouts Pack 20
came to the firehouse for a tour and the
opportunity to learn about firefighting and the
equipment used. Engineer Harding performed the
guided tour along with Firefighter Sorrentino
serving as a model for firefighting gear and
equipment. The kids were guided throughout the
firehouse while being shown everything from
turnout gear to the tools on the apparatus.
- Today the River Road Fire Company
congratulates Firefighter Christopher Sorrentino
for successfully completing his probationary
period and becoming a full member. We would also
like to welcome newly sworn in member Michael
1530 hours the River Road Fire Company was
requested to send Engine 652
Township of Edison for the working
Wildland/Urban Interface fire. Engine 652
responded with Chauffer Maas, Captain Kuenstner,
and Firefighters Abraham, Daughton, J.
Cercatore, P. Cercatore, and Wiklanski. Upon
arrival Engine 652 was assigned to the staging
area, with New Market Fire Department Engine
661, awaiting the arrival of additional
resources to complete the implemented CAFS
Engine Strike Team. As soon as all resources had
been assembled, the strike team was assigned
into the woodlands surrounding the Expo Center
to fight a structural fire at an abandoned auto
shop deep in the woods. The Edison Fire
Department had established command and was
utilizing Truck 1 as an elevated observation
post enabling them to view the 10+ acres
involved.. After making several attacks on the
auto body shop, Engine 652 was reassigned to
Dock Road to relieve New Brunswick Engine 2 and
perform a fire watch. Chief of Department Florek
and Asst. Chief Smolko arrived on location in
unit 658 with much needed refreshments for the
crew. At the conclusion of the watch, Engine 652
was released and returned to quarters at around
2030 hours. Other units on location included:
Edison FD, Dunellen FD, South Plainfield
FD, Melrose Hose Company, East Brunswick Dist.
1, East Brunswick Dist. 3(Brookview), New Market
FD, South River FD, Monroe Twp Sta. 51, Fords
FD, Middlesex County Hazmat, Middlesex County
OEM, NJSP, NJ Forest Fire Service, several BLS
Units, and multiple helicopters which were
utilized for performing water drops.
Today at 18:30 hours,
members of the River Road Fire Company,
including Chauffer R. Recine, and Firefighters
J. Cercatore, Daughton, N. Recine, Simon, and
Sorrentino on Engine 651, paid a visit to
Conackamack Middle School to educate a Girls
Scout Troop on fire safety. The members showed
the troop many of the tools used for search and
rescue such as the thermal imaging camera.
Many of the girl scouts were impressed and asked
the firefighters many good questions about what
to do in the event of a fire. The evening
concluded with the firefighters giving the girl
scouts a tour of the engine and passing out some
informative activity books on fire prevention.
The crew returned to quarters around 20:15
hours the River Road Fire Company was dispatched
for the reported car fire in the area of the
River Road and Centennial Avenue jug handle.
Engine 652 responded with Chauffer Maas and
Firefighters Abraham, J. Cercatore, Daughton, N.
Recine, and Winkler. Rescue 655 responded with
Chauffer Kuenstner and Firefighters Simon and
Sorrentino. Chief of Department Florek arrived
and established command and first arriving units
found a car into the woods with no fire showing.
Engine 652's crew secured the vehicles
electrical system and checked for any possible
smoldering within the vehicles engine
compartment or in the surrounding vegetation.
Crews remained on scene for approximately 15
minutes after which time they returned to
hours the River Road Fire Company was dispatched
into Rutgers University at the Bush Campus
Center for the reported kitchen fire in the food
court area. Engine 652 and Truck 656 responded
with Chauffers Kuenstner and P. Cercatore, and
Firefighters Abraham, J. Cercatore, Flasser, N.
Recine, and Sorrentino. Unit 638 arrived and
established command and met up with Rutgers
Emergency Services personnel. Arriving Engine
652 and Holmes Marshall Engine 672 crews were
sent in and extinguished what remained of the
fire on the stove and utilized a thermal imaging
camera to look for any possible extension. Crews
operated on scene for approximately 20 minutes
and then returned to quarters.
The River Road Fire Company was requested to
provide a standby crew for North Stelton Fire
and Rescue in Piscataway District #4 while they
were out of service for their annual banquet.
Engine 651 was sent over with a crew consisting
of Chauffer P. Cercatore, Lt.
and Firefighters Abraham, Sorrentino, and
Winkler. Along with River Road Fire an ambulance
from South Plainfield was also present providing
EMS coverage. The crew arrived around 1800 hours
and provided coverage until 2300 hours after
which time they returned to quarters.
At 0730 hours the River Road Fire Company along
with several members of the
East Franklin Fire
Department participated in an
extrication drill. East Franklin came with a
full crew on Squad 27, as well as Chief of
Department Dan Krushinski, to what turned out to
be a very informative night. Members from East
Franklin demonstrated several skills during the
drill and showed some new equipment which turned
out to be very useful. Crews drilled until
approximately 2200 hours and after discussing
future combined drills and a growing
relationship the night concluded. River Road
Fire welcomes this combined training effort now
and in the future with the East Franklin Fire
Department as well as all surrounding
At 0100 hours the River Road Fire
Company was requested into the Borough of
Highland Park for the cover assignment while
they operated at a working commercial structure
fire. Engine 651 responded with Chauffer Smolko,
Lt. Maas, and Firefighters Abraham, J.
Cercatore, and Sorrentino. The engine crew
provided coverage for approximately two hours
and then returned to quarters.