Friday, May 5, 2017

New Concrete Brings Safety to Firefighters


Members of this city's fire department, long lauded for their extraordinary skills and service to Wildwood's residents, visitors and community-at-large, were instrumental in saving the city more than $80,000 when it came time to replace the concrete apron on the south side of the department's building on Davis Avenue.

"The concrete apron on the south side of the department was more than 50 years old," said Fire Chief Daniel Speigel. "It had begun deteriorating and was becoming unsafe to firefighters and to the public who visit the fire department."

According to Speigel, the concrete work on both sides of the department was installed when the firehouse was built in 1963. Although replacement was needed on both sides, the department opted to tackle the more deteriorated south side first.

Work began in December 2016, and over the course of the past four months, every firefighter in the department has volunteered to help grade, form and pour the concrete.

Deputy Fire Chief Ernie Troiano III said the replacement took 6 pours and more than 130 yards of concrete to complete.

"That's quite a bit of concrete for people who don't normally do this kind of work," he said. In addition, he said the work took place around the firefighters' work schedules as well as inclement weather.

Unlike residential concrete aprons, due to the weight of the apparatus that drives across it, this apron measures 8 inches thick.

Supplies for the job were obtained at contractors' cost through the relationship between the fire department and E. Troiano and Sons Concrete and Masonry. The company has a long-time relationship with the Wildwood Fire Department. Deputy Chief Troiano said his grandfather, Ernie Troiano Sr., who served as a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years and was a Wildwood Fire Chief, installed the original apron during his career as a contractor.

His son and volunteer firefighter Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr., owner of E. Troiano and Sons Concrete and Masonry not only helped install the new apron, he donated his time and labor to help get the job done.

In addition to the firehouse apron, the work included replacing the concrete in Wildwood City Hall's parking lot area, and the driveway for the breezeway for the Wildwood Police Department.

With the busy summer season quickly approaching, completing the job took on a Herculean effort on the part of the firefighters. Each firefighter continued to volunteer their time to make sure the apron was completed and ready for the season.

Both the chief and the deputy chief agree that the north side apron on Montgomery Avenue is in the volunteers' sights for work this coming autumn.

"Our members are very community-oriented and give back," said Deputy Chief Troiano. "These firefighters come out in full force."

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