This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.

I know it’s not Chicago Area but it’s kind of interesting.


The upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII is distinctive for a number of reasons, not the least of which will be the public safety operations that spans across multiple federal, state, county, and municipal agencies, given the Meadowlands’ unique geographic make up. And it may be the first time a Super Bowl operations is relying on a mostly volunteer fire department. But the area will also be relying on another somewhat unknown group – the Meadowlands Fire Department.

Most of the municipalities surrounding East Rutherford, and the borough itself, rely on volunteer departments, posing an unusual situation for a game played normally in large metro areas with centralized paid public safety departments. But MetLife Stadium, the Izod Center, racetrack and Quest Center, the entire Meadowlands complex, is served by the Meadowlands Fire Department. Originally called the New Jersey Sports Exhibition Authority Fire Department, it was founded in 1975, one year before the first venue, the racetrack, opened in the complex. The state-paid department has 22 members and a station on Route 120 in East Rutherford. It is deployed for all complex events.

Its area of coverage includes roadways leading to the complex, portions of Route 120, Barry’s Creek Road and Route 3 between the stadium and arena, and flyover bridge from Route 3 over the New Jersey Turnpike into the complex, Meadowlands Fire Department Capt. Kevin Meehan said.

The department has a number of apparatus to respond to the variety of calls that come in from the Meadowlands. Equipment includes a 2009 quint aerial ladder, 2014 Ford F-450 mini-pumper, and a 2004 F-550 mini-pumper. Also in the fleet is a smaller vehicle for quick responses.

“It’s pretty much a glorified golf cart – it has 100 pounds of water and 10 gallons of foam, [it’s] easily maneuverable to get up to the stadium access points if we have a fire,” Meehan said.

Along with the Meadowlands Fire Department, a network of mutual aid between the town departments has been coordinated. East Rutherford is commanding the mutual aid efforts provided by other Meadowlands towns, along with the Meadowlands Fire Department.

“The day of the game, East Rutherford Fire Department will be standing by in case we need them,” Meehan said. “Carlstadt will also be standing by, and there [are] other agencies standing by off the complex if we need them, such as Wood-Ridge. These are departments that are a little farther out but easily accessible.”

“We’re providing rescue services for the event, any type of automotive or transit accident on the highways,” said Lyndhurst Asst. Fire Chief Paul Haggerty. “In addition, our department will be activated to cover our township, since there will visitors coming to our area. We’re going to be staffing our fire headquarters for an operation period from about noon to midnight.”

Two Lyndhurst fire units will be assigned to Super Bowl operations so the entire department will be activated. The township is home to locations that will see increased activity from the game, including area hotels and commercial buildings.

“Any type of resources [commanding agencies] need will be in place in the surrounding towns, it’s just a matter of picking up the radio and we’ll be on the way to the location,” he said. “There’ll be strategic units staged in different fire houses in the area under the joint plan we’ve been working on for almost a year now.”

… East Rutherford police officers and borough fire officials traveled to the last two Super Bowls to observe their cities operations.

Haggerty commended East Rutherford for its outstanding job in organizing the various Meadowlands departments and coming up with a plan.


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