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RBR's Sickels Keeps the Volunteer Firefighting Tradition Going in Red Bank

Garrett Sickels joins Navesink Hook and Ladder and Thomas Doremus to become chief of the department

Joking that he had to adjust his glasses to make sure what he was reading was true, Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna said at last week’s Borough Council meeting that it was “with great pleasure and, indeed, overwhelming joy” that he accept the request of resident Garrett Sickels to join Navesink Hook and Ladder Company of the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department.

A senior at Red Bank Regional High School, the young Sickels, who is a Penn State-bound football star, also is the son of Administrator Stanley Sickels.

Recognized as one of the country’s top linemen, Garrett Sickels also comes from a long line of community volunteers.

His father, Stanley, having been administrator for many years, raised his family with wife Donna, in the borough, so Menna and many officials and fire department volunteers have known the family well.

“Most of us who have known little Garrett since he was born, such as myself” are proud, Menna said. “I have to tell you Stanley that you and your wife have done a wonderful job with Garrett and all of your children. I think it’s terrific that he continues the family tradition. Now get your daughters to sign up too … How much arm twisting did that take?”

“None,” answered the administrator. “He helped out during the hurricane and got the bug.”

With that, officials commented that it would be an “honor to pin the stripes on him.”

In keeping with more family and fire department tradition, it also was announced that yet another community volunteer who comes from a long line of volunteers and firefighters in the borough will be sworn in the New Year as chief of the department — Thomas Doremus, a borough police officer.

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