President’s Message


In 1936 the world’s best airplane engineer was listening to his best test pilot confess that he felt technically inadequate for his job.

The best test pilot admitted that, when he asked a question of one of the other engineers, he couldn’t understand the reply.  The best airplane engineer’s, R. J. Mitchell (1895—1937) was the designer of the Super-marine Spitfire, his answer was simple and direct, “If anyone tries to tell you something about an aeroplane which is so damn complicated that you can’t understand it, you can take it from me, it’s all crap.”  The British Super-marine Spitfire was the only Allied fighter aircraft of the Second World War to fight in front line service from the beginnings of the conflict, in September 1939, through to the end in August 1945.  R.J. Mitchell’s reply is timeless and speaks of the environmental many of us are operating in today.

Albert Einstein, the renowned physicist and a New Jersey resident for the last twenty years of his life said, said, “Everything in life should be as simple as possible, but not more simple.” While he was not speaking about the critical systems of the fire service, his advice is something that we all should take to heart.

Critical systems by their nature are complex. They are designed by technical people who are trying to make the item as reliable and dare I say, marketable as possible, given (or in spite of) our ability to meet their outrageous price points.  It’s the rare member among our service that has the proven analytical skills, academic standing and actual command experience to deliver the kind of world-class solutions we so desperately need and possess the eloquence to describe it to us and other stakeholders.

Bergen County’s 9-1-1 and Communications Center has official formed an Advisory Board, something long championed by this Association.  At last month’s regular meeting former Chief Justin Lahullier delivered a simple but eloquent description of a new hand held radios that will provide his department with leading-edge connectivity across both broadband and 700/800 MHz, VHF and UHF-H bands while exceeding the IP68 and MIL-STD-810G standards.  Because of his unique abilities to describe the most complex in the most eloquent terms Chief Lahullier has been tasked with the significate responsibility to represent this Association at the County’s Advisory Board.

Chief Lahullier and all members of the Advisory Board need to resist the siren call to add just one more redundant component, circuit, or another backup to the backup to the backup. The Advisory Board needs to guide all of us to a communications solution that will provide all of the emergency services with a solution that works across manufactures hardware platforms and gives us all a long lasting solution and the ability to talk to everyone we need to—and no one we don’t.


Be Safe,
Peter Hodge

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BCFCA/ Harvey Training Donation

The Bergen County Fire Chiefs Association is pleased to announce that a $4000.00 donation in the name of Harvey Eisner, Tenafly Fire Chief has been made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).

NFFF Donation_16a
Accepting the Harvey Training Donation on behalf of the NFFF is (L to R) Wilton (CT) Ron Kanterman, Fire Chief and NFFF Memorial Weekend Command Staff; BCFCA Trustee Jack J. Murphy, and Wilton  Deputy Chief Mark Amatrudo