ENGLEWOOD, N.J. — As two new firefighters joined Englewood's ranks, city officials honored a respected veteran who gave 27 years of service: retired Fire Chief Gerald Marion.
John Herrman and Gabriel Perrone both began attending the Fire Academy at the Bergetn County Law and Public Safety Institute in Mahwah on Wednesday following their swearings-in Tuesday night.
Mayor Frank Huttle and other officials also honored Marion, an Englewood native and Operation Desert Storm veteran who became chief a little over six years ago.
Marion officially retired last Wednesday.
"His dedication and knowledge will be missed," City Manager Timothy Dacey said in a statement. "He will be most remembered for working with the different city departments to get the construction completed [last April] on the new Jack Drakeford Firehouse."
Huttle recalled four citywide emergencies shortly after he became mayor in 2010.
"At any time that I called Gerald — at 4 o'clock in the morning, at 10 in the morning, at midnight — Gerald was always there, along with the Englewood Fire Department," Huttle said.
Assemblyman Gordon Johnson also presented Marion with a state resolution honoring him.
For his part, Marion called Englewood's bravest the hardest-working and most-dedicated responders he'd ever worked with.
"They are the heart and soul of the department," he said.
Deputy Chief Erik Enerson will head the department until a new chief is appointed.