Camden Fire Department
Fire, Rescue, & Safety Operations
December 26, 2011
So Who Is Off Duty? So Who Is Retired?

This page and the other pages in this series are the successors to the series of web-page about the Camden Fire Department called Camden Fire Department: The Fires of the Summer of 2011. On this and other pages in the series you will find pictures and information regarding different events and aspects of the fire service in Camden, New Jersey. 

It's said that there are no ex-Marines, just Marines not on active duty. The same can be said for the Camden Fire Department, which has a long record of incidents where off-duty and former members of the department stepped up when circumstances called for action. One former member of the Department, Edward Jubb, was killed while coming to the aid of his brother fire fighters in 1894. In 1933 three off-duty firefighters broke into the then-closed Engine Company 4 firehouse in the 300 block of Vine Street in order to provide covergae while all on-duty personnel were comating the fire at the C.B. Coles lumber yard at Front Street and Kaighn Avenue, and on May 1, 1937 at 2:30 in the afternoon off duty Fireman Getner of Engine Company 11 rescued a woman and her nine day old from a smoky blaze in frame dwelling on 18th Street near River Avenue, Cramer Hill before the arrival of companies. Both victims survived.

On Monday afternoon, December 26, 2011 at approximately 1:00 PM off-duty Camden firefighter Asante Wilson and retired Camden firefighter Richard Martinez were traveling north by automobile on Route 55 in the vicinity of the Deptford Mall when they noticed a column of smoke coming from the medial strip in a southbound direction. Asante Wilson wrote the following as to what was seen and what was done:

"As we proceeded to slow down we saw that a car was just in a accident and rolled several times and landed of its roof. We pulled over to the shoulder and  crossed the highway to see if help was needed. When we got there one victim was still trapped in the vehicle. Ricky proceed to the window to assist with removing the victim, while I began working on the hood to dislodge the battery. The victim was removed from the car as state troopers and Deptford Fire Department arrived on the scene." 

Richard Martinez put it more succinctly:

"Asante Wilson and I pulled a guy through the sunroof after his car flipped over ten times on Route 55. CFD, always in service."

That says everything. 

Phil Cohen
December 27, 2011

Photo by Asante Wilson


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Fire, Rescue and Safety Operations - 2011