Trenton Firefighters are furious over a new patch that they were unaware of. The new patch would replace the old TFD patch that has been around for generations on the left sleeve on the class A uniform and most others. The most recent Trenton fire academy class graduated with the new patches on the uniforms.
On their left sleeves, Trenton firefighters have long worn a uniform patch they say is unlike other departments for its depiction of the Iron Fireman, a statue honoring their profession that has stood in the city for over 100 years.
The Iron Fireman, clutching a rescued child, is where the department, pre-pandemic, held annual ceremonies. More importantly, it’s where the names of firefighters who died in the line of duty are listed.
Trenton Fire Douglas said the design change was not meant to disregard history but is part of larger, marketing, and design changes that also include uniforms, “to push the department forward.”
The director said others in the department were aware of the new design, including union members, and he makes decisions with inclusion. Veteran firefighters can still wear the Iron Fireman patch, but he said the new patch will be on new uniforms in the future.
Trenton Firefighter Kevin Soto petition gained 1,379 signaturesWe are urging the administration to reconsider changing our Fire Department patch and uniform colors. The iron fireman stands for the sacrifice we as Trenton firefighters’ are willing to make and stands tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We as the members of this department understand the risk and sacrifice we make on a continuous basis missing nights, weekends and holidays with our family. If there were to be a change to our patch and uniform it should be based on a majority vote of all members. From there every member who wishes to take part in the development of a new patch should have the opportunity. Without allowing the members to take part in this change is detrimental to the mission and morale of the Trenton Fire Department. The members of this Department are the ones wearing the patch and uniform every shift and our input should be a part of this decision.
HERE ARE SOME COMMENTS FROM THE PETITION
Many men whose shoes I will never be able to fill have lived and died under this patch and it has been my dream as a child to have the honor to wear that same patch and keep the highest level of service and protection just as they did before. There is a plaque with the names of the men who have fallen while wearing this patch but what is not listed is the hundreds if not thousands of names of people who have been saved in this great city under this patch. This patch represents not only their service but the depiction of a statue built by a French sculptist that was so moved by our courage and fortitude to protect any and all human life at a time when a country still had racially divided views in some areas. That’s what this department has stood for and always will have with the Iron Fireman. We are Iron strong and will continue to provide that strong of a commitment to the life and property of our civilians.
Marissa Bergen, Trenton
The Iron Fireman on our patch is unique to our department. Far too many firefighters have made the ultimate sacrifice wearing the department patch showcasing the Iron Fireman. It would be disheartening to see something unique and historic to the department replaced with something so generic. The Iron Fireman on our patch it tradition and I don’t think it should be replaced without the uniformed members having a say.
I remember when I first wore the uniform. I stared at our patch for a long while thinking about the men and women that wore our symbol before me. I thought to myself, what an honor it is, and hoped that I would make them Proud! Take that away by replacing it with something else that has never seen our rich history and combat with something new, NO! They are trying to throw away tradition! Our patch is everything to Us!.