Thomas Harrington and Gary Keyser were recently honored by the Cedar Knolls Fire Department for completing 50 years of active service. They both have a lot to be proud of during the last half century.
Tom Harrington joined the fire department as a junior member on May 5th, 1969 after serving in the military during the Vietnam conflict. He became a regular member on March 11, 1970.
As part of his service, he served as Fire Chief from 1981-1983, leading the department in some major fires. He served as Fire Commissioner in District 3 for many years, implementing new policies and helping guide the department in the ever-changing world of the fire service. With his background in trucking, he served on many fire apparatus purchasing committees, traveling out to various fire equipment manufacturers to keep up to date on the latest trends of the equipment. He also serves as a Fire Police Officer, volunteers to drive the MAB (Morris County Office of Emergency Management’s Mobile Ambulance Bus) and has been recognized on multiple occasions for awards and commendations to numerous to mention. In 1978 he became a NJ Exempt Fireman.
Gary Keyser joined the CKFD on October 13th, 1969, following in the footsteps of his father Bill. In 1972 he became a regular member. He was very instrumental in bringing the first aid squad forward, having served as a 2nd Lt. and then as Captain. He became an Emergency Medical Technician in June 1969. And since the NJ EMT program, as we know it, just began in 1967, he was at the forefront of EMS almost from the beginning, helping to shape our department.
He also served many years on the Board of Fire Commissioners and was Chairman. Also, like Tom, they worked closely to further the development of the department. He is also quite a historian with a plethora of information about the department, the law, and the fire service. He also became exempt in 1979.
Both Harrington and Keyser are still active members responding to various fire and EMS emergencies and community events.