From left, future Junior Firefighter Nicholas Bimbo, 17, and his grandfather, Longport Volunteer Fire Chief Levon “Lefty” Clayton.


LONGPORT – The Board of Commissioners April 17 introduced an ordinance to create a Junior Firefighters Auxiliary for teens 16-18 years old who are residents of Longport or Margate. A companion resolution outlines membership, training, duties and rules for membership. According to firefighting officials, the program will give young people a view into the roles firefighters play in the community and encourage volunteer membership.

Nicholas Bimbo, who plans to join the service project, said he is grateful that the commissioners are allowing the Longport Volunteer Fire Company to create the program.

“I have some friends who are interested in joining, too,” Bimbo said. “I think it will help the future of firefighting and develop EMTs in Longport.”

Bimbo is the grandson of Fire Chief Levon “Lefty” Clayton, who encouraged the commission to form the group.

To become a member, junior firefighters must submit an application, undergo a physical examination and complete an interview with the Membership Committee with their parent or guardian present. Parents will be required to sign a permission form and release of liability.

Junior firefighters will be required to attend training that does not involve fire, smoke, toxic or noxious gas, or hazardous materials, at the direction of the chief.

They will not be permitted to perform any duty that could pose a risk of injury. Junior firefighters may ride in the interior of apparatus wearing seatbelts, but never on the outside of a fire truck or ambulance. They may not leave the shoreline or ride in the fireboat during water rescues.

Duties include washing and rolling fire hoses, cleaning equipment and the firehouse, assist with putting away equipment, but they will never be permitted to enter a structure fire or a building that has been damaged by fire. They may observe active duty firefighters from safe distance established by the incident commander.

Instruction will include training on fire systems, breathing apparatus, municipal water systems, handling firehoses, extinguishers, alarms, radios, maintenance, preparing knots, use of personal safety equipment, hand tools, pumps, ladders, CPR and use of AEDs.

They will be limited to working less than eight hours a day, and may not work before 6 a.m. or after 11 p.m. Although they may be provided with pagers, they may not carry them at school. Auxiliary members must maintain a C average in high school and may not participate in any activities if they are expelled or suspended from school.

Junior firefighters will be provided with a complete set of protective gear, including helmets, turnout gear, boots and gloves.

Upon turning 18, they will become eligible to join the department as an active duty firefighter.

A second reading and public hearing on the ordinance will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at Longport Borough Hall, 2305 Atlantic Ave.


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Categories: Longport

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.