Four complete firefighter training

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From left, John Picinich, Jim Collins, Craig Tomlin and Glenn Aber recently completed firefighter training in Atlantic County. From left, John Picinich, Jim Collins, Craig Tomlin and Glenn Aber recently completed firefighter training in Atlantic County.

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Craig Tomlin is following in his grandfather’s footsteps.

He is a Cape May Court House Volunteer Fire Co. member and finished firefighting school this summer at Atlantic County Fire Academy.

For more than 30 years, Tomlin’s late grandfather served in the Stone Harbor fire company, he said.

He said he gets a “sense of camaraderie” with being part of the Cape May Court House fire company. His favorite part of being a member is helping people, he said.

“It’s just something I decided to do,” Tomlin said.

Three other Cape May Court House firefighters also completed 180 hours of training over the summer at firefighting school in Atlantic County.

As a kid, Jim Collins watched and waved at fire trucks cruising past in parades. Now he fights fires.

He called the fire school in Atlantic County challenging but said he enjoyed the camaraderie.

Collins said he wanted to become a firefighter member to be a role model for his children and also to serve.

John Picinich said he wanted to be able to help the community and meet others with similar interests.

He said he hopes his three sons will join the fire company when they’re older. They are 7 years old, 5 years old and 20 months.

Glenn Aber also desired to “give back to the community,” so he joined the fire company.

He said his family has a history of public service. His father, Bill Aber, served as an officer with the Cape May County Sheriff's Office and then retired from the Cape May County Emergency Management Communications Center.

He said he likes the rush of being called out to a scene of a fire, and he enjoys the togetherness of the fire company.

Aber’s young son, Sean, believes he is a firefighter, he said, and has a uniform and a toy vehicle that looks like a fire truck, too, he said.

All of the men except Aber became fire company members last year, according to the organization’s website.

The Cape May Court House Volunteer Fire Co. has 45 firefighters, according to Middle Township Fire District No. 1 Commissioner K.P. Arenberg. One person is also rejoining the fire department and someone else is expected to become a member.

Since January, the volunteer fire company has been to 298 fire calls, Arenberg said Monday evening. In August, the fire company was dispatched to 44 calls, he said.

Arenberg said young people are key in ensuring the fire company continues. Otherwise, the township would need a paid fire department.

“It’s all free labor, too. It’s all volunteer,” Arenberg said.

Middle Township Fire District No. 1 covers many square miles in the township, and the fire company has a substation in Swainton.

For more information about the Cape May Court House Volunteer Fire Co., see www.cmchfire.com. 


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