NJ regional fire department, battalion chief honored for commitment to military

The U.S. Department of Defense recognized North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue for employing and supporting members of the military


Ron Zeitlinger
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

HUDSON COUNTY, N.J. — North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and one of its battalion chiefs were recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for its commitment to employing and supporting members of the National Guard and Army Reserve, as well as its stellar record of hiring veterans.

The awards were presented by the DoD’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program, which promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their employers.

The North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and one of its battalion chiefs was presented with two awards on Monday, December 16, 2019. (Photo/Michael Dempsey, The Jersey Journal)
The North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and one of its battalion chiefs was presented with two awards on Monday, December 16, 2019. (Photo/Michael Dempsey, The Jersey Journal)

The North Hudson fire department has consistently prioritized veterans in its hiring process and currently employees 22 active reserve members, as has 110 veterans among its 210 firefighters. In addition to the department itself, Battalion Chief Alider Pratts was also honored as a supportive supervisor.

“North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue has always made it a top priority to not only hire veterans, but to assist them in any way possible to make sure that they are able to transition back into civilian life while utilizing the skills they gained in the military to keep our communities safe,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, the NHRFR management committee chairman.

“Supporting reserve members is a natural extension of that commitment to veterans, and it’s gratifying to see the Regional be recognized in this way.”

Pratts is a 16-year member of NHRFR and a Marine Corps veteran. In his role as the department’s designated certifying official for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs On-The Job Training Program, he assists department veterans with applying for VA education benefits, monitors their firefighter training progress, assists with payment and benefit issues and maintains necessary training records.

“A number of award recommendations came from service members who are part of the NHFR team that shared that in addition to recognizing specific supervisors, they also wanted to do something to recognize Chief (Frank) Montagne and NHRFR leadership broadly for how well they were supported,” Hudson County ESGR Representative Mary Tosline said.

"For these reasons, the New Jersey State Chapter of ESGR wishes to recognize North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue with the Above and Beyond Award.”

Attendees at the event included West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, West New York Public Safety Director Mark Flores, NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne, among others.

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©2019 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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