I want to take this opportunity to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all those who responded to the Union City fires of December 2. As the Union City Reporter reported, our city suffered three major fires within 45 minutes in the early morning hours on that day.
I am grateful for the professionalism and compassion of the firefighters of North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue whose bravery resulted in the lives of all who lived in those buildings being saved and whose diligence kept these devastating fires from spreading.
The officers of the Union City Police Department are to be commended for their valuable assistance in evacuating residents and in keeping the fire scenes under control in the midst of the chaos that ensued during these fires. The Department has also been working with the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor to find the person who set these fires and bring that person to justice. Some of these fine officers have been working on their own time to close this case. I thank you all.
My thanks and appreciation also go out to the Union City Emergency Medical Services and its dedicated personnel. These exemplary men and women gave comfort and aid to the fire victims and to the firefighters injured on the scene. They worked ceaselessly through the night to ensure that all in need of medical attention were administered to. In some case, all that was needed was a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on and that was provided gladly by our EMS people.
I would be greatly remiss if I failed to salute the dozens of volunteers who gave of their own time for days on end to help shelter and feed the fire victims. They helped turn a recreation center into a comfortable temporary home for over 100 men, women and children. They accepted and sorted thousands of pieces of clothing, furniture and toys donated by hundreds of caring Hudson County residents.
The volunteers and the people who donated from their hearts, residents and business people alike, have been instrumental in getting the fire victims back on their feet and back to living their lives as normally as possible. Many people and businesses have donated new toys so that the children who lost everything had a Merry Christmas.
It's been a tough several months for all of us here in Hudson County, beginning with September 11. To know that the people who live and work here can still find so much charity and compassion in their hearts, enough to reach out to the people in need, is the greatest Christmas gift of all.
Thank you and God Bless you all.
Brian P. Stack,
Mayor, City of Union City