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2001 Presentation
2002 Retreat
2004 Retreat
2005 Retreat
2010 retreat
2012 Training and  Retreat

2012 Retreat and Training

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Upcoming Events


281 Campgaw Road, Mahwah, NJ 07430






8:30 AM to 5:00 PM


monroe township flooding hurricane irene 7“TROUBLED WATERS”

 - Flood Safety & Rescue Operations*

Full Day – Lecture & Hands-On – FULL GEAR REQUIRED

Rick Salkowski, Maplewood FD



More Info, Download Brochure with Application (PDF) Full Day – Lecture & Practical

Joe Alvarez – Maplewood FD



    Full Day – Lecture & Practical- FULL GEAR REQUIRED   

          Steve Alvarez – Career Firefighter, Rescue 1



Full Day – Lecture & Scenarios

Lt. John Lewis – Passaic FD – Retired


“LEADERSHIP: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination”

Full Day – Lecture & Roll Playing

Lt. John Dixon – Teaneck FD



Half Day - Lecture & Practical

    Dr. Melanie Hunt - Red Bank Veterinary Hospital



Half Day – Lecture & Hands-On – FULL GEAR REQUIRED

Fire Instructors – Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute


$30 registration fee includes Breakfast, Lunch, and Amazing Instructors!


* Flashover, Flood Safety & Truck Rope Ops require Proof of Fire One Certification with application.


Networking Night

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 6 to 10 PM

Light Refreshments to be Served


All Members of the Emergency Services are Welcome!


Sponsored by

Fire Service Women of New Jersey      



“Emergency Animal Rescue and First Aid”

Dr. Melanie Hunt, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital


This course will present behavioral information for handling pets during emergencies such as structure fires and vehicle accidents.  Pets can act much like small children by hiding, or be territorial by trying to protect their property despite your efforts to help them.  Basic animal first aid will be covered as well as CPR.  Some hands-on training will be provided using animal manikins



Presented by the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute Instructor Staff


This course will give first hand knowledge of an actual flashover in our flashover container.  This is the closest experience that any firefighter will ever receive to an actual structure fire.  The presentation will combine a lecture, video and practical evolution.


“Rigging & Hauling”

Presented by Joseph Alvarez, Maplewood FD


This technical rescue program will include the use of mechanical advantages for rigging.  Objects and personnel will be moved, raised and lowered in various locations on the fire ground.  A brief PowerPoint presentation will be followed by a full day of hands-on training. 


“It’s in the Basement”

Presented by Lieutenant John J Lewis, Passaic FD, Retired


A fire in the basement is different than any other fire to which we respond. Fire spread from basement areas through vertical and horizontal voids will cause severe structural instability and critical fire loads within a building.  “It’s in the basement” are four words that should make everyone on the fire ground immediately rethink their strategies and tactics. Usually this radio transmission is heard after several minutes on the fire ground, while members are searching the structure under heavy heat and smoke conditions only to discover the fire is burning below them. Topics to be covered include building construction, size up concerns, proper hand line placement, ventilation and search procedures.


“Leadership: It’s a Journey not a Destination.”

Presented by Lieutenant John Dixon, Teaneck FD


This course is designed to help define & identify true leadership.  The goal is to recognize characteristics and traits that everyone can utilize in their professional and personal lives.  Through group discussion and real life situations the students will evaluate their own set of core values and sharpen leadership qualities that they already possess to become effective leaders.


“Troubled Waters – Flood Safety & Rescue Operations”

Presented by Rick Salkowski, Maplewood FD


This program will present reminders of the safety issues we are faced with when responding to non-routine emergencies, such as flooding.  Many storms in recent years have provided challenges to safety concerns.  Ground displacement, electrical issues, methods of rescuing residents and decon procedures will be covered. 


“Truck Company Rope Operations”

Presented by Steven Alvarez, Firefighter/EMT


Participants will receive classroom PowerPoint presentation reviewing rope identification and proper selection, care and maintenance and history and future of rope in the fire service.


Outside hands-on training will include ropes & Knots and various truck company rope operations ranging from but not limited to hoisting equipment, searching, ventilation, self rescue, and rescuing trapped occupants, forcible entry, etc.


Upon completion, will receive a 25’ piece of NFPA compliant rope to use during class and take home.



Instructor Biography


Joseph Alvarez is a 24-year veteran of the fire service and a firefighter with the City of Maplewood (NJ) Fire Department working on Tower Ladder 31 for 14 years, now working at Engine Co 32. He is a NJ certified Fire Instructor, Level 2, Teaching at the Bergen County Fire Academy.  He is also a NJ State EMT-D, NJ Fire Official and he is also a member of the Arson task force. He is responsible for the training of the technical rescue team in Essex County; He has been a HOT Instructor for FDIC since 1998 teaching at FDIC, FDIC WEST and FDIC EAST, Joseph is also a co-author of the search chapter of the Firefighters Handbook, He is the author of the ventilation DVD for the Bread and Butter series, presented by Fire Engineering. He is also a member of the Wyckoff (NJ) Volunteer Fire Department, and the Past Chief of the Waldwick (NJ) volunteer Fire Department.


Steven Alvarez has been involved in the fire and emergency services since 1991.  He is currently a career firefighter/EMT where he has been assigned to Rescue 1 for the last decade.  He is also a Fire Instructor at the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute since 1998.  He is a former chief of department for a multi-jurisdictional rescue squad.  He is a hands-on training instructor for the F.D.I.C. and FDIC West, as well as a member of the NJ State Urban Search & Rescue/Urban Area Security Initiative Strike Team. 


John Dixon began his career in the fire service as a volunteer in Ridgefield Park Volunteer Fire Department in 1995.  He started his career with the Teaneck Fire Department in 2001 where he currently holds the rank of Lieutenant, assigned to Engine Company #4.   John is also a Fire Instructor at the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute.  He holds NJ State certifications as a Level 2 Fire Instructor, Fire Officer 1, Incident Safety Officer and Rapid Intervention.  John is a former US Marine and continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter in the Sussex Fire Department.


John J Lewis joined the volunteer fire service in 1978 and began his career as a Firefighter / EMT in 1985, recently retiring as a Lieutenant with the City of Passaic, NJ Fire Department. John is an instructor at the Bergen County (NJ) Fire Academy, and an Adjunct Instructor at Kean University in Union, NJ, a member of the NJ State Firefighter Health and Safety Advisory Committee, he holds NJ State Certifications as Fire Inspector/ Fire Official, Level 2 Fire Instructor, Confined Space and Hazardous Materials Awareness Instructor, IMS Level 3 Instructor and Fire Investigator. John has developed and presented educational programs for various fire conferences and schools across the country. In addition John has co authored the Rapid Intervention Awareness Curriculum for the State of New Jersey.




Past retreats :


Laura's "You Tube" Links:   2008 Retreat   2007 Retreat


The 12th Annual Retreat

at the Bergen County Fire Academy

Pictures from the retreat:




Click here for  Slide show of 2005 retreat


Click here for Video of 2005 retreat, supplied by NJDFS:    Appx 2 megabytes download):




Earlier retreats:


The 2004 Retreat was held at the Camden County Fire Academy in Blackwood NJ April 17, 2004 and featured a live burn evolution, fire service and rescue tool techniques for women,  and our keynote speaker, Rochelle (Rocky) Jones from FDNY .

Camden County Fire Academy Webpage 

Past Retreat &Training Locations

Middlesex County Fire Academy - Sayreville October 17 & 18, 1997

Middlesex County Fire Academy - Sayreville October 17,1998

Middlesex County Fire Academy - Sayreville 1999

Middlesex County Fire Academy - Sayreville April 29, 2000

Middlesex County Fire Academy - Sayreville April 21, 2001

Bergen County Fire Academy - Mahwah June 23, 2001

Dempster Fire Training Center - Lawrenceville April 6, 2002

Middlesex County Fire Academy - Sayreville April 2003

Camden County Fire Academy - Blackwood April 2004

Burlington Fire Academy April 16, 2005

Middlesex Fire Academy -Sayreville April 8, 2006








Former Lt. Coleen Mitchell of the Philadelphia, Pa. is presented a FSWNJ Award by then President Karla Pastana, 2003








Former President Karla Pastana with Division of Fire Safety's Grace Forrester















Pictures from 2003 Retreat at Middlesex County Fire Academy.