NPFD Fire Suppression Platoons and Training

The North Plainfield Fire Department consists of twenty-seven (27) career Firefighter/EMT members and a volunteer force of 12 members. As with any other agency that depends on volunteer support, we continue to experience a fluctuation in the number of persons willing and capable of serving as volunteer firefighters. The EMS shift is partially staffed with four full-time civilian EMTs and 20 part-time/per diem EMTs who supplement our career FF/EMTs. The chart below explains our department structure.

2015 Fire Department Organizational Chart


The Fire Chief, Deputy, Staff Fire Inspector and Administrative Assistant work weekday hours, while all other Firefighters and the civilian EMTs work 24 hour shifts.  All department members are listed below:

Fire Chief William F. Eaton
Deputy Chief Frank N. D’Amore, Jr.
Administrative Asst. Inger Conaway

Captain Bernard Pongratz
Lieutenant Brian Martin
FF Jeffrey Holtz
FF/EMT Joseph Kadel
FF/EMT Scott Otto
FF/EMT Ryan Valentino
EMT Robyn Barb

Captain Robert Beattie
Lieutenant Steven Dill
FF/EMT Chuck Ferrante
FF/EMT Shane Bell
FF/EMT Allen-Michael Smith
FF/EMT Chad Makowski
EMT Susan Connolly

Captain James DiPaolo
Lieutenant Daniel Lawson
FF Kevin Miller
FF/EMT Jeffrey Meyer
FF/EMT Thomas McDonald
FF/EMT Brendan Kinney
EMT Deirdre Wright

Captain Richard Connolly
Lieutenant James Reedman
FF/EMT Phil Kika
FF/EMT Kristopher Piccola
FF/EMT Michael Kennedy
FF/EMT Mario Abbruzzese
EMT Michael Ceccato

Call force:  Richard Sloyan, Tyris McMillan, Skip Bell, Patrick Lanzone, Russell Reed, Blas Peralta, Brian Piccola, Tim Erber, Frank Merrill, Mauricio Paiz-Mejia, Lynn Emme, Tyler Reedman


All members of the department are required to meet a minimum level of training standards annually. This includes topics such as Right to Know-Haz. Comm. Training, Blood borne pathogens, Hazardous Material refresher, SCBA refresher and many others.  In addition to those topics, which are required by law, all shifts also conduct company drills throughout the month. This works out to approximately 1 to 2 hours of training per tour of duty and includes topics such as ladders, hose, extinguishers, carbon monoxide emergencies, gas & electric emergencies, water rescue and many others.

Platoons also participate in the monthly callmen’s drill on the first Wednesday night of each month. More about this drill is discussed in the Callmen section.

Further, since most of the department’s members are also NJ certified emergency medical technicians, they are required to complete 48 hour’s worth of continuing education units over a three year period.

There are also about twelve NJ State certified fire inspectors and they too are mandated by law to take classes on a three year cycle. Those ceu classes are necessary to maintain their inspector’s license.

Lastly, there are many specialized classes that the department participates in regularly, either by ourselves or jointly with our mutual aid fire departments. For example, we have attended the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Center to participate in their new flashover fire simulator.  We have also sent a handful of our members to the FDIC – Fire Department Instructor’s Conference and the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Besides the minimal requirements listed above, all Captains are required to obtain and maintain the following certifications:  Incident Management-Level 1 (I-200), NJ Fire Inspector, EMT and Fire Instructor.