June 26, 2012
CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NJ – The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously passed a resolution renaming and dedicating the Cumberland County Fire & Rescue Training Center in honor of recently retired Cumberland County Training Coordinator, Ron Martinelli. The proclamation, which was read into the record during the regular Cumberland County Freeholders meeting, honored Martinelli by renaming the Cumberland County Fire & Rescue Training Center.
The Training Center, which is located on Vineland Avenue, in the Rosenhayn area of the County, will henceforth be known as the “Ronald D. Martinelli Fire & Rescue Training Center”.
The renaming of the training facility, to honor Martinelli for more than 40 years of public service given to the citizens of Cumberland County, was sponsored by Public Safety Director Jim Matlock and Senior Fire Instructor Mike Lippincott, with the support of the Cumberland County Fire & EMS Chiefs Association.
Prior to beginning his firefighting career within the County, Ron Martinelli was first drafted into the Army in 1967, shortly out of high school, and was subsequently deployed to Vietnam in 1968 – 1969 (9th Infantry Division), where he was wounded in combat and awarded both the Silver & Bronze Star for distinguished gallantry in action. Upon returning from Vietnam, Ron Martinelli began his career as a firefighter, first as a volunteer in 1969 and then as a full time paid member in 1971 with the Vineland Fire Department.
In the early 80’s, Ron Martinelli also began volunteering his time as a fire instructor at the Cumberland County Fire Training grounds, which was then located behind the Cumberland County Technical Education Center, on what is now the site of the OEM / 9-1-1 Center. Ron was actively involved on all of the planning boards for the design and construction of the OEM / 9-1-1 Communications Center, the Fire Burn Building, the training grounds and subsequently the Fire & Rescue Training Center which, was completed in 2009.
Martinelli rose through the ranks within the Vineland Fire Dept. and was ultimately promoted to the rank of Chief where he served until his retirement in 2001. After retiring, Chief Martinelli was appointed as the Director of Fire for the City of Vineland and also appointed as the Cumberland County Fire Training Coordinator. Ron served as an instructor for the county’s Fire Training Program for over thirty years and is considered one of the most beloved, respected and knowledgeable figures within this County’s Firefighter and Emergency Services community.
In December of 2011 Ron retired as the Training Coordinator, but his love of teaching & preparing both young & seasoned firefighters for their dangerous careers as firefighters, motivated him to stay on as a part-time Instructor. Public Safety Director Jim Matlock said: “Anyone in their mid-forties or younger, who is a firefighter within the County, was probably trained at some time in their career by Ron Martinelli……his ability to connect with the young firefighters he trains; through his command presence, the sharing of on-the-job experiences and humor, is a gift only a few possess”.
Freeholder Bill Whelan (Public Safety Liaison) stated, “Ron Martinelli’s name is synonymous with our County’s Fire Training Center. He is highly respected throughout Cumberland County and South Jersey Firefighter Communities”.
Freeholder Director Carl Kirstein said; “I am honored to support the renaming of our County’s Fire Training Center in recognition of Ron Martinelli’s many years of unselfish commitment to the teaching and mentoring of our young firefighters… This dedication in Ron’s name is well deserved”.
On Thursday, June 28th, 2012 the annual Cumberland County Firefighter 1 Graduation Ceremony will take place at the Lakeside Middle School in Millville. A special presentation is scheduled to officially announce the dedication and renaming of the County Training Center in Martinelli’s name. Ron will be attending the ceremony with his wife Renee and son Richard.