FF SHOWCASE No. 6 - David Kanko
Where do I even begin with this Brother, well he’s a first generation firefighter. FF Kanko Grew up in Beachwood, NJ, he spoke to a friend of his, Anthony Melchionne, when he was 18 years old and asked how he liked being a firefighter with Beachwood. After speaking with Tony he figured it sounded fun and decided to join. That’s what started the train moving! He worked his way up to the offices of first and second LT for Beachwood fire department. He was one of the youngest guys to hold any officer positions in the Beachwood FD, prior to him joining. He Enjoyed serving the community he grew up in. He Became a career firefighter at the age of 23 with what was then known as NAEC Lakehurst. He described this department as a well rounded department that provided the base and surrounding communities with Fire/EMS and technical rescue along with providing airfield crash/fire protection for the Navy and any other aircraft that came on base. He Started as a firefighter and is now a driver operator with almost 25 years with the federal service. NAEC Combined departments with McGuire and Fort Dix to become Joint Base New Jersey and continue to provide emergency services for all the branches of the military. He moves to Stafford Township in 1995 and have held the position of LT in Sta 47. He’s Been there for 23 years and is highly respected by the members and they are lucky to have him! When I asked him for awards and commendations he said, I have lifesaving awards blah blah blah. LOL, he’s a humble cat and that’s why I love him! So now my personal insight to Dave... when I was a JR member Dave inspired me to be the best I can be and spent time teaching me how to be a FF. 14 year old kids at the Firehouse are a pain in the ass and ask question after question, that never stopped Dave from teaching and helping me. I’m honored to be able to once again work alongside a man I respect so much. The other night we caught a run together and he was the chauffeur on the Ladder and as I sat in the Officers position I had a grin on my face, I enjoyed the ride and was thinking back to the past 30 years. Well, here we are my Brother! Dave, Brother, it’s my honor to have you as the PintheQ FF Sunday Showcase No. 6. God bless and never change. Thanks for your friendship and loyalty throughout the years.
FF SHOWCASE NO. 5
Although Michael wasn’t a FF, he dedicated his life to the emergency services. So this Sunday goes to him.
Michael Flores joined the Ocean Gate Fire Vol. Fire Company as an associate member in 2013, and transitioned to a Fire Police role shortly thereafter. Mike served his country as a United States Marine and dedicated his civilian life to emergency services. Mike previously worked for Alert Ambulance and Quality Medical Transport, among others, and volunteered with EMS units in Jackson, Manchester, Lakewood, and anywhere else he was needed. Mike expanded his fire police service to include memberships with Pine Beach Vol. Fire Company as well as the Ocean County Fire Police.
Mike suffered from a number of medical issues, having survived a battle with lung cancer, and passed away on December 13 from complications due to congestive heart failure at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Mike is survived by his daughter Jessica, his brother Rusty, and many, many friends across Ocean County emergency services.
RIP Brother, thank you for your service.
FIREFIGHTER SHOWCASE NO. 4
Chief Bob Sinnott:
Silverton Vol. Fire Co.
Chief Sinnott has been a member of the Silverton Fire Department for over 20 years. During that time, Bob has served as a fire officer for a majority of his firefighting career. This included serving as the Fire Chief for 5 years of those 20 years.
Chief Sinnott, comes from a family whose lives revolved around the fire service. Bob like many of us grew up in the brotherhood. His father, Robert “Kelly” Sinnott served over 35 years with the Silverton Fire Department before passing away 10 years ago. Kelly was also a fire officer reaching the rank of Chief as well as being a Dover Township Fire Commissioner in District #2. Bob’s mom, Ellen is also active in the Silverton Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary where she joined 45 years ago.
Besides firefighting, Bob has many other hats in the emergency services field. Bob works as a police officer in Island Heights, and on occasion wears a nice kilt when he plays his bagpipes at many of the fire service events. He started off his law enforcement career as one of the townships police explorers. In his spare time, he also headed up the Toms River Township Fire Department District 2 Fire Officers Association.
In the past couple of years, there have been several requests to fly the American flag at various events throughout the town such as parades, 911 ceremonies, fire prevention activities and funerals. On most of these dates Bob would be there and make sure the flag was flying high and proud. Recently while at the American Legion he spoke with some of the members from the Legion. They were very impressed with 2905 and the flag. Jokingly he stated to them about getting a bigger flag. Next thing you know they got a bigger flag donated to them and it is now seen usually flying between 2905 and one of the other ladders in town.
Fire prevention is also one of Chief Sinnotts projects. He works closely with the Bureau of Fire Prevention, schools and local civic organizations putting on fire prevention demonstrations throughout the year.
At the end of October, 2012 Superstorm Sandy hit the New Jersey coast devastating a large part of the Toms River Township waterfront properties. Most of the attention was focused on the barrier island area. No one except those who resided on the mainland waterfront properties knew of the destruction there. The Silverton Fire Department was dispatched and had to deal with various incidents of fire, water rescue, hazardous conditions etc. starting that night.
Over the next couple of months, Chief Sinnott would command one of the largest fire operations in the history of Toms River. During this time, his leadership skills would be to the ultimate test. The storm started with structure fires, loss of apparatus, rising water making it almost impossible to make it down the streets of Silverton. The Green Island area truly became an island of its own. The Silver Bay and South Shore Drive properties were under water.
Chief Sinnott and the Silverton Fire Company started doing what they were trained to do, act courageously and professionally no matter what they faced. They were the rescuers, the firefighter, the friend, the people that were there to help no matter what the task was. This company did whatever it took to get the job done and left no man behind.
No internet, no television, no warm house none of the things that we take for granted in our everyday lives were available.
Well over 600 homes were overrun by the rising tidal waters. 30 firefighter’s homes were affected by the storm. 15 of these firefighter’s houses were damaged extensively. Chief Sinnott was one of those firefighters. His house will probably have to be torn down and rebuilt. It’s just not the material structure that was washed away here but the pieces of our everyday lives that we now have to pick up and try to place back together.
During this time, Chief Sinnott never left his command in Silverton. He as well as many others remained there and became “Silverton Strong”. As a Chief Officer, Bob knew what he had to do to keep everyone together. Staying there over the next couple of months leaving only to take care of their families and basic necessities of life. Although totally drained himself, he still remained supportive to his company and his community.
In making sure that all available equipment was being utilized to the maximum potential, Chief Sinnott made arrangements for law enforcement to utilize their fireboat patrolling the areas around Silverton. Firefighters from other areas arrived at Station 29 to assist in the various operations that needed to be done. Chief Sinnott made sure this was a coordinated effort by all involved.
After a couple of days when it seemed like things started to calm down the realization of what really happened settled in. Now it was, what do we do. One of the first things was posting on the fire department facebook page was they were still in business. Under Chief Sinnott, they remained strong and committed to their community.
Bob wasn’t shy about turning down help. He realized that he did need help to get through these troubling times. He enlisted help from several of the surrounding fire companies and their officers. He opened his arms and welcomed everyone and made you really feel like part of the community. Then firefighters from all over the east coast arrived to help out. It was amazing to see such a brotherhood as to that the fire service has Although a large amount of attention was being placed on the flood ravaged areas there was still a large section of Silverton not affected by water. There were by power outages and other hazardous conditions such as trees and wires down. Chief Sinnott made sure there was coverage for these calls as well.
As long as I have known Bob, he has always been the type of guy who is the first one there when help is needed, last in line to leave and never be around when it comes time to take the pictures, receive the awards and say thanks.
Bob is always there willing to lend a hand no matter what day or time it is. If Bob is available he will make it happen. If he is not available, he will still make sure it gets done. He is a real “go to type of guy”. Bob has shown what it takes not only to be a great human being but a dynamic leader.
Thank you to Past Chief John J Mount, Jr. for providing the above awesome narrative!
Let’s take a moment to say thank you to Bob, on behalf of PintheQ, thank you! My hat is off to a guy I’ve called a friend and brother for many years. Couldn’t be any prouder of Bob, Big Bob!
FIREFIGHTER SUNDAY SHOWCASE NO.3
Captain George Seabolt Jr:
Bound Brook Fire
George was raised in the Seabolt dynasty of Relief Company Number 4 of Bound Brook, Junior worked hard as a firefighter and was eventually elected as chief of the Bound Brook Fire Department. After his term ended, he has remained an officer and currently holds the position of captain. Growing up in Bound Brook, he is extremely well-versed in the history of both the town and the department and loves teaching young firefighters the tricks of the trade. George helps others grow within the fire service and knows what it means to lead others. Leaders in the fire service are all around your fire house, stop and ask questions about the traditions of your house!
Let’s give a PintheQ thank you to Brother George!
FIREFIGHTER SHOWCASE NO.2
FF Ray Tremer III
Harrison Career FF (NJ)
Ray is a 2nd generation firefighter, his Grandfather was a detective with the NYPD. Ray’s Father is retired out of FDNY Rescue 5, he retired In 1998. Ray joined Jackson Mills Volunteer Fire Department, station 54, in 2004 as a junior member. Ray came through the ranks and left in 2010 as the volunteer 1st LT.
Ray Joined the USAF RESERVES in 2006 in fire protection where he was stationed at McGuire AFB. Ray was deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq in Jan 2008 and thankfully returned in May 2008. Ray Honorably discharged from the AF in 2012.
Ray’s journey continued after a stint with Marine spill response Corp cleaning oil spills from 2008 to 2013. Ray was hired by the NJ Dept of corrections and worked at New Jersey state prison in Trenton until November of 2014. In 2014 Ray followed his dream and was hired by the town of Harrison as a full time Career firefighter. Ray also had been working at six flags great adventure as a fireman since 2012. Before the fire department he worked in ems 2010.
Let’s give a big PintheQ welcome and just say thanks to FF Ray Tremer III.
FIREFIGHTER OF THE WEEK SHOWCASE: No.1
Meet Christopher John Oshaughnessy Jr. When he was a kid he faced many physical obstacles due to his disability. like many kids he had wishes and dreams. Chris had this cool phrase that helped him, it’s a simple one... “ I can, and I will “. You see, Chris didn’t allow his disability to stop him from doing the things he wanted to do. Chris knew his limitations, but that never stopped him from trying. I’ve had the privilege to watch Chris become a man who is extremely dedicated to his organizations, all of them! Chris is a member of Toms River Fire Co. #1 where he is a past President and Serves as Fire Police, Manitou Park Fire Co as a corporate member, past President of the South Toms River EMS, and he also serves as President of the ocean county fireman’s association.
Although Chris can’t fight fire, his support and dedication to his Brothers and Sisters is endless. Anyone who truly knows Chris is lucky. Lucky to know a man who cares and loves the Fire service. Chris overcame his obstacles and never lets anyone feel pity for him. Chris loves his life and became a husband to his best friend, and of course his wedding photos involved fire apparatus.
Let’s take a moment to recognized this member today and just say thank you!