The awards were presented by the New Jersey State Chapter of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) recognizing the Regional’s assistance and employment of veterans
WEEHAWKEN, NJ — North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue was recognized on Monday for its strong commitment to employing and supporting members of the National Guard and Army Reserve as well as its stellar record of hiring veterans. The awards were presented by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program that promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers. NHRFR has consistently prioritized veterans in its hiring process and currently employees 22 active reserve members, as well as 110 veterans among its 210 firefighters. In addition to the Regional itself, Battalion Chief Alider Pratts was also awarded as a supportive supervisor.
“North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue has always made it a top priority to not only hire veterans, but to assist them in any way possible to make sure that they are able to transition back into civilian life while utilizing the skills they gained in the military to keep our communities safe,” said Weehawken Mayor and NHRFR Management Committee Chairman Richard Turner. “Supporting reserve members is a natural extension of that commitment to veterans, and it’s gratifying to see the Regional be recognized in this way.”
Battalion Chief Pratts is a 16-year member of NHRFR and a Marine Corps veteran. In his role as the department’s designated Certifying Official for the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-The Job Training Program, he assists department veterans with applying for VA education benefits, monitors their firefighter training progress, assists with payment and benefit issues and maintains necessary training records.
“As we all know, balancing military, work and family commitments is challenging for both the service member and their employers and the effort to protect our country takes strong coordination both in letter and spirit to make things work,” said Hudson County ESGR Representative Mary Tosline. “A number of award recommendations came from service members who are part of the NHFR team that shared that in addition to recognizing specific supervisors, they also wanted to do something to recognize Chief Montagne and NHRFR leadership broadly for how well they were supported. For these reasons, the New Jersey State Chapter of ESGR wishes to recognize North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue with the Above and Beyond Award.”
Attendees at the event included West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, West New York Public Safety Director Mark Flores, NHRFR Chief Frank Montagne, among others