Meet Firefighting Families of Hopewell Valley: Volunteer with Relatives or Without. A Second Family Awaits

Volunteer fire and emergency service runs in the blood of some Hopewell Valley families. You’ll find just that in “Meet the Firefighting Families of Hopewell Valley,” a four-part series in which you’ll meet several of them!

Part 1: At the Pennington Fire Company, everyone predicts a day when the Demareski boys and their dad will fully crew a fire engine all by themselves.

Part 2: Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad husband-and-wife team David and Julie Crum each followed multiple generations into their volunteer life-saving and leadership roles;

Part 3: Hopewell Fire Department & Emergency Medical Unit’s fire house is the second home of more than a dozen Toths; and

Part 4: Volunteer with Relatives or Without. A Second Family Awaits


Part IV: Volunteer with Relatives or Without. A Second Family Awaits

All Hopewell Valley volunteer fire and EMS units need volunteers from teens to senior citizens and in all emergency and non-emergency roles.

Volunteering is definitely a good way to bond with family members, but volunteers say everyone at a fire house or squad becomes one big chosen family.  In fact, almost every volunteer gives this brotherhood and sisterhood as a major benefit of membership.

During this spring’s storms, Pennington Fire Company Firefighter Jack Demareski and his brother, Junior Firefighter Peter Demareski, responded while their father, Roger – also a firefighter –  stayed home with their little brothers. Roger trusted his sons’ training, and also knew his chief and the other firefighters would watch out for every firefighter – including his boys.

During those same storms, Firefighter David Crum was responding with other members of Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad as they pumped out basements and tended to many other weather-related situations.  Knowing he was, other members called regularly to see if his wife, Julie – UFCRS Auxiliary Secretary and Second Vice President on the administrative side – and their little girl needed anything. And when the Crums lost power, members came by to get the generator running.

When a Hopewell Fire Department volunteer or a volunteer’s loved one is ill, other department members provide home-cooked meals or whatever else is needed, said Hopewell Fire President Christie Toth. “We are not just firefighters and EMTs, we are a family. And if somebody is in distress, the entire family jumps to help.”

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