MARGATE — The city welcomed its newest firefighter to the fold Sept. 20 as city resident Timothy Friel Jr. was sworn in before a crowd of fellow department members and locals.
Commissioner John Amodeo introduced Friel and asked him to recite the oath.
Friel grew up in Linwood and attended Mainland Regional High School, graduating in 2004. In 2008, he earned a bachelor’s degree from what was then called The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Prior to being sworn in, Friel worked in the Atlantic City school system and was a lifeguard for several years in Brigantine, Amodeo said.
“He qualified through the civil service regiment, and his time came up. We’re really happy to have him here,” Amodeo said, noting his certification as a lifeguard made him an even more appealing hire.
Friel’s swearing in came before a standing-room-only crowd in Margate’s council chambers, though few, save for family members and other firefighters, came specifically to meet the city’s newest firefighter. Most came to oppose the city’s brief attempt to introduce a hotel overlay zone along its beach, prompting Amodeo to joke that new firefighter appointments always draw a crowd.
Friel is just one of several new additions to the city’s firefighting ranks. Earlier this summer, commissioners approved the hiring of two additional firefighters, Chris Fantazzia and Hunter Pizagno, who replaced retiring members of the department.
The three newest firefighters are already fixtures in the community. Friel has lived in Margate for 10 years, and both Fantazzia and Pizagno are lifelong Margate residents, the former having made headlines for his fishing acumen and the latter being a former Goudy Memorial teams title winner.
Friel’s hiring brings the department’s ranks up to 35 firefighters.