All posts by Mark Minkler


On Saturday, February 15, 2014 the Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290 held their annual bowl-a-thon at the Woodbridge Bowling Center to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Contributions from this fund raising event go towards MDA’s summer camps for children, professional and public health education and other programs. Each year, firefighters from across the United States and Canada hold different fund raisers for this charity and the I.A.F.F is proud to be the largest national sponsor of MDA. MDA-sponsored summer camps offer a wide range of programs for youngsters ages 6-17 who are affected by neuromuscular disease. Campers attend weeklong sessions organized by MDA volunteers and staff. Camp activities are geared to the abilities of campers and may include fishing, swimming, horseback riding, boating, field hockey and baseball. Less physically demanding activities include arts and crafts, nature study, talent shows, cookouts and entertainment. Local businesses have joined in showing their support as sponsors of the event and each year the number of sponsors grow. Participants included firefighters, their family members, friends and neighbors just to name a few. Through sponsors and participant donations, the members of Local 290 raised three thousand five hundred sixty dollars to go towards this worthwhile cause.

Sponsors of this year’s event include:

Lucas Chevrolet & Subaru Arena Sports Connextion Vatra Beauty Supply & Unisex Salon Mr. John’s Unisex Salon The Club at Woodbridge GM Landscaping AMF Contractors Palmisano & Goodman P.A. Woodbridge Bowling Center Bob McGrath Electrical Rimex Metals USA, Inc Yoshi Sushi


Boston Firefighters Local 718 LODD

It is with a heavy heart  to announce the Line of Duty deaths of Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Engine 33 and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy Ladder 15 of IAFF Local 718 - Boston, Massachusetts who both passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2014 while operating at an apartment building fire.


A Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund has been established Donations will be accepted by mail by sending a check to:

Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund Boston Firefighters Credit Union 60 Hallet Street Dorchester, MA 02124

Credit card donations are accepted using the button below.

Woodbridge PBA Street Hockey AED Donation

In the fall of 1997, the Woodbridge P.B.A., Local 38 started a street hockey league for township residents ages 6-17. Since then the Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290, has been sponsoring a team each year. This year in addition to sponsoring a team, the firefighters of I.A.F.F. Local 290 purchased an Automated External Defibrillator more commonly known as an AED for the Woodbridge P.B.A. Street Hockey League. The unit was presented to the Woodbridge P.B.A. Street Hockey League’s Coordinator Brian Small on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at the Street Hockey League’s rink in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge Township. “On behalf of President, Dean Janowski, of P.B.A. Local 38 and the Street Hockey League, we greatly appreciate the donation of the defibrillator by I.A.F.F. Local 290. We hope that this piece of equipment never has to be used but if it does, we are well prepared. Our unions have always had a great relationship and we continue to work together for the best interests of the children and residents of our community,” said Brian Small. Every year thousands of people die of sudden cardiac arrest. Many of these deaths could be prevented with immediate and appropriate care. Early recognition, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced medical care are all part of the chain of survival. The technology is available to help provide early defibrillation for cardiac emergencies. An AED is a portable device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm and determines if an electric shock is needed to restore an effective rhythm. An AED can deliver that shock either automatically or with the push of a button. The firefighters of I.A.F.F. Local 290 recognize this fact and have acted in an effort to make Woodbridge Township a safer place. To date, the Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290, has donated AED units to Woodbridge Little League, Fords Bearcats Football, Fords Clara Barton Baseball Little League, Port Reading Saints Football and the Woodbridge High School Athletics Department.
AED Donation

St. Peters Children’s Hospital Visit

On Sunday, December 15, 2013, members of the Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290 visited the Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick. The firefighters spread some holiday cheer to the children hospitalized for the holidays with smiles and of course toys. The members of Local 290 learned of the Child Life Program through Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital. The Child Life Program was established to provide a comfortable experience for patients and their families by lessening the trauma of illness. This program provides young patients with play and other special therapies during their stay. The firefighters surprised more than thirty nine children, ranging from infant to sixteen years old with age appropriate gifts. The leftover toys were donated to the pediatric unit for use in their playroom. Tom Nebus, a career firefighter in Woodbridge Township’s Fords section led the holiday spirit brigade by arranging the event with hospital officials and his brother firefighters. “Prior to the event, we were told there were 52 beds on the unit, the age range of the patients currently occupying those beds and went shopping for some toys,” said Nebus. “This was our first year doing this event and we are already planning for next year. This was a rewarding experience for all involved.” For more information on the Child Life Program, visit:
St Peters

Operation Warm, Fire Fighters Coats for Kids

The Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290, through the Fire Fighters Coats For Kids (FFCFK) foundation teamed up with Operation Warm, a non-profit organization committed to distributing American-made winter coats bringing warmth to impoverished children while strengthening the American workforce. Through fund raising efforts, Local 290 raised enough funds to provide some of the under privileged children living in Woodbridge Township with a new winter coat this season. “ Launched in 2012 by firefighters across the USA and Canada to inspire hope for more than 17 million children living in poverty, FFCFK brings far more than warmth to the children we serve, it instills a sense of self-worth, keeps them healthy and enables them to attend school during the coldest times of the year. Furthermore, our dedication to American-made coats allows us the opportunity to provide jobs to Americans targeting the root cause of poverty in many households.” The firefighters of Local 290 are proud to have taken part in this initiative. The Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F Local 290 collected donations at the Saint James Street Fair through a social media campaign and a charity fund raiser at Rugs’ & Riffy’s located in Woodbridge. “Firefighter Ryan Horvath took the lead for this project and did a terrific job,” said Local 290 President, Keith Repace. Firefighters from Local 290 were on hand on Sunday, November 3, 2013, to distribute the coats in Woodbridge. Firefighter Horvath spoke to the families and explained that “the members of Local 290 saw the need in our community and wanted to ensure that the children have a warm coat for the winter. Without the overwhelming support from the community, this would not have been possible.” For more information, please visit
Coats for Kids