GLOUCESTER CITY: Members of Gloucester City Firefighter's and Superior Fire Officers Association F.M.B.A.'s Local No. 51/251, stood near the intersection of Johnson Blvd and Hudson Street back by the Little League outfield on Saturday morning wearing T-shirts that read "Fire Fighters Lives Priceless NOT in Gloucester City, Everything Has a Price Tag."
While the union members posed for pictures, up on Johnson Blvd just 35 feet away, Firefighter Jerry Hubbs, in full uniform, along with recruits from the Cherry Hill Fire Department pass by. Hubbs is one of the organizers of the annual Heroes to Hero 5K Memorial Race. The event honors the memory Volunteer Fireman Chief James Sylvester, volunteer Deputy Chief John West and career Firefighter Tom Stewart III who died on July 4, 2002 fighting a fire at Broadway and Mercer Street.
The following email was circulated yesterday by career fire fighters.
"The members of Gloucester City Firefighter's and Superior Fire Officers Association F.M.B.A.'s Local No. 51/251 have been fighting their city administration recently about the reduction of staffing. The city is moving in the direction of drastically reducing their staffing, solely to save money. I don't need to remind anyone that this July was the five year anniversary of the line of duty deaths of three courageous firefighters in the City of Gloucester. Chief James Sylvester, Deputy Chief John West and Firefighter Thomas Stewart III all made the supreme sacrifice.
The members of Gloucester City Firefighter's and Superior Fire Officers Association F.M.B.A.'s Local No. 51/251, have tried on numerous occasions to address these reductions by educating their city leaders. The fact that the city has not learned from past tragedies and still chooses to reduce the staffing is disturbing. The annual 5k run honoring the three fallen firefighters is this Saturday, October 13th. The members of Local 51/251 have organized a rally for this Saturday to coincide with the 5k run.
ALL PESONEL ARE REQUESTED TO COME OUT AND SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR OUR BROTHER FIREFIGHTERS. This situation in Gloucester City is occurring throughout the state and unfortunately more and more often in the Southern District. There are many locals out there that came close to needing the assistance of fellow firefighters for a rally and I know many other departments that may be traveling down this path shortly. Don't think that this can't happen in your town. Come out and support the members of Local 51."