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A Family of Chiefs

Matawan Firefighter Carl Bommer is the third fire chief in his immediate family

Matawan Borough Firefighter Carl Bommer stood at attention with his right hand in the air and placed his left hand on the bible.

"I, Carl Bommer, Hook & Ladder Company, do solemnly swear..." Carl repeated, taking the official oath of office for Fire Chief of the Matawan Borough Fire Department at the borough's reorganization meeting Jan. 1.

As he took the oath, his father William Bommer looked on with a proud glow.

"I was really excited," said Willam of standing next to his son while he was sworn in. Carl is the third fire chief in his immediate family to serve in the Bayshore area. In 1966, William was the fire chief in the Union Beach Fire Department and Carl's brother, Billy, recently finished his term as Fire Chief in Ramtown, a section of Howell Township.

"I'm very proud of my boys," William said.

Carl joined Hook & Ladder Company about thirty years ago while he was still attending Matawan Regional High School. At the time, Carl was dating the Fire Chief's daughter and his brother Billy was a firefighter there.

When asked why he continues to volunteer as a firefighter, his answer is simple.

"I love helping everybody," Carl said after the ceremony. 

The borough also administered the oath of office to Assistant Chief Donald Mason of Midway Hose Company, Second Assistant Chief Peter Berliner of M.E. Haley Hose Company, Third Assistant Chief Brian Bernath of Washington Engine Company and Fourth Assistant Chief Zoltan Varsanyi of Freneau Volunteer Fire Company. 

Varsanyi previously served as the Fire Chief for five years. The term of office is one year and the role rotates through each of the individual fire houses.

With Mason, Berliner, Bernath and Varsanyi serving with him, Carl feels ready to take on his new role.

"I've got some great chiefs under me," Carl said. 

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