Obituary | James "Jim" O'Rourke of Bellmawr

There is a High Demand for Volunteer Firefighters in Gloucester Township

National Fire Prevention Week 2019 Oct. 6-12 Township ...Becoming a hero to the community is just a few clicks away. Help kick off Fire Prevention Week the right way by signing up online to become a volunteer firefighter in Gloucester Township today.  

Fire Prevention Week Highlights Need for Glo. Twp. Firefighters

The Blenheim, Chews Landing, Erial and Glendora fire companies need volunteer firefighters and there’s no better time than during Fire Prevention Week to learn how you can get involved. Community members who are ready to help can go to to sign up. 


Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12 and the theme this year is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” It’s important to have a plan in place to get your family out of the house in the event of a fire. 


According to the National Fire Prevention Association, a home escape plan includes drawing a map of each level of the home and showing all doors and windows, and also having working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. Additionally, make sure to have two ways out of every room, like a door and a window, and a clear path to a meeting point outside that’s a safe distance away from the house like a tree, light pole or mailbox. Lastly, teach young children how to escape on their own if you can’t help them. Visit for more safety escape planning and practice tips.


Meet the Heroes in Your Backyard

The Firefighters of Gloucester Township invite members of the community to celebrate Fire Prevention Week 2019 with them during three open house events.


  • Thursday, Oct. 3: Erial Fire Company will host its annual Fire Prevention Week kickoff event from 7-9 p.m. in the parking lot of the Gloucester Township Lowe's, 485 Cross Keys Road, Sicklerville. The event will feature food, several fire trucks, display tables and a fire safety trailer for participants to walk through.
  • Monday, Oct. 7: Chews Landing Fire Company will hold an open house from 7-9 p.m. at its station, 43 Somerdale Rd, Blackwood. Participants can meet volunteers, see the trucks on display and learn more about becoming a volunteer. 


  • Tuesday, Oct. 8: Glendora Fire Company will hold its open house from 7-9 p.m. at the station, 22 8th Ave., Glendora. The event will feature inflatables, several emergency trucks and giveaways. It will be a night of fun for the whole family. 


It’s a Rewarding Feeling

Volunteering as a Gloucester Township firefighter is an excellent way to give back to the community. 


“Becoming a volunteer firefighter is a rewarding feeling,” said Glendora Chief Mike Riccardelli. “It makes you feel good to help others. People rely on us to help during one of the worst days of their lives and we are ready to be there for them.”


“Volunteering has made me a more rounded person with a better understanding of others,” said Erial firefighter Christopher Brown.


“I take pride in belonging to a group of people that care,” said Chews Landing firefighter Fred Koehler.


There are several ways community members can volunteer at their fire station including: firefighters, junior firefighters for teens between 16 and 18 years old, volunteer associate members and ladies auxiliary members. “Even if you don’t want to run into a burning building, there is a way you can still help us,” said Chews Landing Fire Chief Michael Millisky.


“And Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to sign up,” said Blenheim Fire Chief Jonathan Smith. “You’ll have a chance to meet some of the other volunteers in the township and see if becoming a volunteer is right for you.”


Erial Fire Chief Michael Brezee agreed. “Bring your family to one of our open houses and see for yourself,” he said. “We need volunteers just like you.”  


Sign up today at Firefighting is our passion. Volunteering is our tradition. Make it yours.


About The Firefighters of Gloucester Township

Four fire companies, one mission. The Blenheim, Chews Landing, Erial and Glendora fire companies have launched The Firefighters of Gloucester Township recruitment effort to raise awareness of the dire need for volunteer firefighters in the area. Community members can visit today to get involved. Firefighting is our passion. Volunteering is our tradition. Make it yours.  


About Fire Prevention Week

NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation declaring a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Visit for more safety information.