Saddle River Volunteer Fire Department Struggles - My9 New Jersey

Saddle River Volunteer Fire Department Struggles

Posted: Updated:
Saddle River, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Two former fire chiefs in Saddle River, New Jersey have resigned because of the lack of volunteers available to get the job done. One of them has alleged that there have been over 100 emergency phone calls made in the town that have gone unanswered because there just aren’t enough volunteers.

Mayor Samuel Raia explained that the problem with Saddle River is demographics.

“We have to think outside of the box, especially in northern Bergen County. We have to think of ways that we’re gonna keep the people safe and at the same time not impact the tax base,” he said.

Saddle River is a very wealthy town where the average house in the area goes for about $2 million. These residents often hold a high-powered position which doesn’t give them the time to dedicate to train as volunteer firefighters.

Mayor Raia also said that every time there is a 911 call police respond and then they will access if firefighters need to be brought in. He also believes that the reason one of the former fire chiefs resigned was so that he could pursue employment with a paid fire department somewhere else in Bergen County.

Mayor Raia also assures his residents that no life has been put at risk.

“All of our public employees whether they’re in the administrative office or whether they’re at the school or whether they’re at the DPW, they’re all volunteer firemen,” he explained.

There is also a policy in place where $175 a night is paid to an experienced volunteer to sleep in the firehouse in case of an emergency. A shared services program is also in place in Saddle River, but this means that response time may be delayed.

“We need a 1-2-3 minute response to fires, and I’m not criticizing the volunteer fire departments by no means, but when you have volunteers that are from outside of the town, which is pretty much what we have, it’s difficult unless you have them sleeping in the fire house,” he explained.


Watch Chasing New Jersey weeknights at 10pm on My9 and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

  • Chasing New JerseyMore>>

  • NJ Shelter Helping Save Puppies One Paw At A Time

    NJ Shelter Helping Save Puppies One Paw At A Time

    Friday, August 22 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-08-22 18:24:03 GMT
    Over 30 dogs were recently rescued from high kill shelters down south in Georgia and South Carolina and brought to the Home For Good Dogs shelter in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey to be fostered and cared for. The shelter's co-founder Rich Errico discussed the group's mission.
    Over 30 dogs were recently rescued from high kill shelters down south in Georgia and South Carolina and brought to the Home For Good Dogs shelter in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey to be fostered and cared for. The shelter's co-founder Rich Errico discussed the group's mission.
  • The “Knockout Game” Troubling NJ Neighborhood

    The “Knockout Game” Troubling NJ Neighborhood

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:51 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:51:24 GMT
    The knockout game where young people randomly punch innocent bystanders to see if they can knock them unconscious has been relatively rare in New Jersey, until now. After three attacks in less than half an hour in a safe Hackensack neighborhood, some residents are concerned that this trend will pose potential problems for more New Jerseyans. Hackensack police are looking for a man caught on surveillance video who is suspected of the three separate assaults.
    The knockout game where young people randomly punch innocent bystanders to see if they can knock them unconscious has been relatively rare in New Jersey, until now. After three attacks in less than half an hour in a safe Hackensack neighborhood, some residents are concerned that this trend will pose potential problems for more New Jerseyans. Hackensack police are looking for a man caught on surveillance video who is suspected of the three separate assaults.
  • Activists Rally In Newark To Support Ferguson, Mo. Protesters.

    Activists Rally In Newark To Support Ferguson, Mo. Protesters.

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:50:32 GMT
    The shooting of unarmed African American Michael Brown by a Caucasian police officer on August 9, 2014 has led to ongoing daily violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri. This story made national headlines for nearly two weeks and these protests have now spilled over into other towns across the country. Wednesday, Newark activists held a rally to protest police brutality and marched through the city in support of the Ferguson protestors.
    The shooting of unarmed African American Michael Brown by a Caucasian police officer on August 9, 2014 has led to ongoing daily violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri. This story made national headlines for nearly two weeks and these protests have now spilled over into other towns across the country. Wednesday, Newark activists held a rally to protest police brutality and marched through the city in support of the Ferguson protestors.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices