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NJ fire chief shuts down firehouse bars in wake of DUIs

Two volunteer firefighters have been arrested for alcohol-related offenses

By FireRescue1 Staff

RIVER EDGE, N.J. — A N.J. fire chief has ordered two firehouse bars to be shutdown after a volunteer was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

River Edge Fire Department Fire Chief John Mauthe made the decision after Firefighter Joseph Cerciello, 50, was arrested Oct. 16 for driving under the influence. Firefighter Cerciello clipped a car in a firehouse parking lot, according to the Record.

He reportedly couldn't judge the proper distance between his car and another when he was backing up and caused the accident.

"Because the motor vehicle accident occurred on borough property, the fire chief ordered that the fire department cease serving alcoholic beverages in both of the fire companies," Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo said.

Firefighter Cerciello is the second River Edge volunteer firefighter to be charged with DUI this year.

It is unclear if there will be any departmental action taken against Firefighter Cerciello.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Tom Kelly Tom Kelly Friday, October 26, 2012 5:43:08 PM Unclear if there will be any acton taken? Really what are they thinking? What ever happen to ethics in our job?
Russ Gregston Russ Gregston Saturday, October 27, 2012 7:08:09 AM Having a bar at the Firehouse was a bad idea to begin with.
Carol Linnell Carol Linnell Saturday, October 27, 2012 7:15:01 AM Yup, what could possibly go wrong?!
Billy Gillam Billy Gillam Saturday, October 27, 2012 2:55:22 PM As for alcoholic beverages being sold in the firehouses, that is not a very good idea. I know that this something that has been going on for years and that some will say: It is a tradition in our company to do it. Well is it tradition to also have someone show up at an emergency while under the influence of alcohol as well? What is the state law in this departmentís area for selling beer or having it available in the fire stations? This could get to be a major legal problem, and the Chief did the right thing. Luckily no one has or was injured in the past.
Alain Duane Alain Duane Saturday, October 27, 2012 8:26:54 PM This makes me sick really, if he was a sworn in firefighter, that makes me even more sick to my stomach...
Bill Hoeft Bill Hoeft Sunday, October 28, 2012 10:45:11 AM Having an open bar in a working fire house is beyond bizzare. It deserves a "what were they thinking" response.
Butch Perry Butch Perry Sunday, October 28, 2012 11:45:11 AM I have heard of everything now!!!!!!!
Steve Edgar Steve Edgar Sunday, October 28, 2012 5:38:03 PM wow really, how backwards can you get serving booze in a firehouse and allowing personnel to drink and then hope they can function on a call.....That is brilliant leadership..
Jody Ann Jody Ann Friday, November 02, 2012 5:05:16 PM I realize some of you live in your own perfect little worlds, but this is a common fundraising practice in some areas. The fire companies have social clubs with bars. These fire companies have hundreds of members. The bar is not inside the truck room, and there are no firefighters "on duty" drinking.
Pat Radford Pat Radford Friday, November 02, 2012 5:58:52 PM been at a firehall where they used old pop machine as beer machine.

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