RESPONSE TO FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP FIRE DIST. #3 PRESS RELEASE

The Commissioners of Fire District 3 have put a message out to the public regarding contract disputes between Fire District 3 Commissioners and East Franklin Volunteer Fire Company.

PRESS RELEASE IN RESPONSE TO

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP FIRE DIST. #3

PRESS RELEASE

May 31, 2024

The Commissioners of Fire District 3 have put a message out to the public regarding contract disputes between Fire District 3 Commissioners and East Franklin Volunteer Fire Company.

Contract negotiations are a normal part of everyday American livelihood.  In corporate America, in the public sector and even in the private sector, contract negotiations are constantly revisited.  As a fire protection agency, we are sworn to protect life and property, no matter what.  This is our commitment to the people we serve in Fire District 3 and beyond.  Contract disputes are as normal as apple pie.  When 2 sides don’t agree on an issue, they are required to negotiate, hence why it is called contract negotiations.  It is our desire to work together with the commissioners of District 3 for the betterment of the citizens we serve. We have tried on more than one occasion to negotiate with the Commissioners and were turned down.

The Commissioners who have been elected to provide leadership and oversight in the District must take into consideration the need to be informed by the men and women who actually respond to the emergencies in our District.  So, it should be normal that when they want to implement a new policy that they take into consideration feedback from the people who respond to the emergencies, refusing to do so leads to disputes that only prolong reaching an agreement that is best for our citizens.

Under no circumstances should fire protection to the people we serve be compromised by removing the fire vehicles, equipment, and gear.  This only reduces the effectiveness that we committed to as firefighters, protecting life and property. East Franklin Volunteer Fire Department responded to a total of 725 calls for service last year, and so far, we have responded to 305 calls this year. EFFD has an active membership of 55 volunteer firefighters. Every call that we have been dispatched to, we have had volunteers in service to assist, and we responded to, unlike the other department in the District.

If the commissioners have proof of reckless driving or inability to respond safely to any incidents, then that would be a reason to make changes in how responses are recorded. Furthermore, the cameras that the Commissioners wanted to install would be always recording in the apparatus/vehicles, recording forward facing, rear facing, and audio, violating the privacy of our membership – not just when responding to calls for service so at any point and time for no reason a Fire Commissioner can be sitting in his/her backyard and just sign in and watch and listen to anyone’s conversation. EFFD’s Assistant Chief is a police officer and is protected under Daniel’s Law – and the Chief’s Vehicle should not be recorded. The NJ Attorney General also has nothing to do with Fire Departments Cameras that are in place in Fire Trucks or Chiefs cars.

We are willing to continue negotiations and come to an agreement that continues to provide safety and stability in how we respond to emergency incidents.  During this time however, fire protection for the citizens of District 3 should not be compromised by removing the ability for our fire company to respond to emergency incidents.   I am putting this out to the public, because YOU the citizens of District 3 should be informed and aware of the risks that are being proposed to eliminate the response to emergency incidents by one of two fire companies that cover this district.  If one company was sufficient then we would not have two in District 3.

So, I implore YOU as the citizens of District 3 to let the Commissioners know that removing or reducing fire protection in this district will not be tolerated under any circumstances, we the members of East Franklin Fire Volunteer Fire Company will continue to put the people we serve above our own personal and sometimes petty issues and continue to respond to all calls for service. We also want you to know that Fire Commissioner Ferretti did set up a meeting to try and hash out the contract, but Commissioners Natel and Reid never showed up, but still collected the $750.00 monthly salary.

Sincerely,

Chief Daniel Krushinski and the Membership of East Franklin Volunteer Fire Department

We urge the residents and businesses of Fire District 3 to voice their concerns to the Commissioners! Below is their direct contact information:

  • Fatiima Braxton 908-507-3112
  • Patricia Ferretti 908-726-8330
  • Sherrod Middleton 732-354-8160
  • Janet Natal 609-212-3077
  • Kenneth Reid 732-642-8002

Below are important letters that have been sent to the Commissioners:

Support from Franklin Twp. PBA

Support from Dr. Candice McDonald, Deputy CEO of NVFC

Letter from EFFD Attorney

Letter from District Attorney