Dave Budinick has been a firefighter for the past 16 years and he was one of six Jersey City firefighters promoted to the rank of captain during a ceremony at City Hall earlier today.
“It’s a feeling of accomplishment. I feel honored to do this for the city. I’ve worked with the same guys for the past nine years in the same house. It’s bittersweet. It’s a good day, but you’re leaving your buddies to venture off into something new,” Budinick said just before the ceremony commenced.
He started out as a rookie working at the Engine 9 Firehouse at Bergen and Duncan Avenues in McGinley Square nearly eight years ago, and then for the past nine years, he’s been working out of the Rescue 1, Squad 4 Firehouse on Communipaw Avenue.
He’ll now share the rank of captain with his brother, Mike Budinick, who was promoted to captain several years ago.
Their father, Martin Budinick, said that both of his sons always wanted to be firemen since childhood.
“I’m proud that they became firemen. I know they do a good job. I know a lot of the supervisors and firefighters they work with always praise them for performing their jobs well. I’m proud of them.”
During the ceremony, Mayor Steven Fulop credited the city council for providing the necessary funding every year since he’s taken office to turn around shortcomings with the department.
“When we came into office, every single night there were four companies that were ground out and it put people at risk and more or less the city was crossing it’s fingers that we were going to be able to respond in a proper and expedient and fast way,” said Fulop.
He added that the city couldn’t be more excited to have six new captains to join the ranks.
“We also committed to hiring more firefighters and promoting more firefighters because we wanted to do more than just speak about our commitment to public safety, we want to show it with our actions.”
Today’s ceremony comes one week after Jersey City swore in a new class of 15 firefighters, including Sam Springsteen, the son of New Jersey rock legend Bruce Springsteen.
This brought the total number of Jersey City firefighters to 666, a historic total according to the city.
According to Fire Chief Steven McGill, the new captains will be backfilling positions made available by upcoming retirements on February 1.
The five other firefighters who were promoted today are: Jeffrey Walter, Daniel Dornacker, David Myers, Nicholas Vecchio, and John Bellezza.