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Paterson Fire stands with Newark Fire as they face a loss of two of their own (Gallery).


Newark Firefighters, Captain Augusto “Augie” Acabou (L) & Captain Wayne “Bear” Brooks Jr. (R)

Members of FMBA Locals 2 & 202 of Paterson traveled to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark for the funeral services for two Newark Firefighters who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty while fighting a ship fire on July 5th of this year. A fire that ultimately burned for multiple days afterward and injured six other firefighters. Newark called in mutual aid from dozens of neighboring departments, including a request for USAR, where Paterson Rescue 2 responded to assist in the rescue & recovery efforts.


The two firefighters lost were Firefighter Augusto "Augie" Acabou, 45, and Firefighter Wayne "Bear" Brooks Jr., 49. Brooks, Jr. was a 16-year veteran assigned to Ladder 4, Tour 1 in the South Ironbound neighborhood. Acabou had nearly ten years of service and was assigned to Engine 16, Tour 1 in the North Ironbound neighborhood.

The viewing services for Augie were on Wednesday night, followed by the Funeral Thursday morning. During the services, Firefighter Acabou was posthumously promoted to Captain. Thursday evening was the viewing services for Bear, followed by the Funeral on Friday morning. During the services, Firefighter Brooks Jr. was also posthumously promoted to Captain.

Throughout the services, one hundred different members of the Paterson Fire Department attended to stand with the Newark Firefighters in their time of grief, with the services of each day having twenty to thirty PFA & PFOA members attending. Sheriff Richard Berdnik and the Passaic County Sheriff's Office assisted us in attending the events by offering two officers and two buses as transport. We offer our sincere gratitude and thanks for their assistance.

On Friday, after the Funeral services for Captain Brooks, with Newark F.D.'s guidance, members of Paterson Fire hosted a repast for both firefighters, with multiple departments assisting by serving food & beverages. Efforts were led by Captain Kyle Hughes, current FMBA Northern District Vice-President & retired Captain Joseph Statuto Sr., current Paterson Firemens Relief Association President. Our brothers and sisters in Passaic, Clifton, Bloomfield & others joined in offering refreshments to the Newark Firefighters and all from the Fire Service who attended the services.

R-L Michael Giunta, Newark Firefighters Union President; Edward Kelly, General President of I.A.F.F.; Eddie Paulo, Newark Firefighters Union Vice-President

During the event, Newark Firefighters Union President Michael Giunta spoke on how some of the first phone calls he received were from Hughes and Statuto, offering support & assistance during their time of need. He quoted Hughes as saying, "You take care of your guys in Newark & their families; we will take care of you." With music, food & drink, and places to rest in the shade and commune with all in attendance, the results were incredible considering the short preparation time.

We commend Captains Hughes & Statuto for their hard work and coordination, and we thank all our members who made efforts to attend the services and support our brothers in Newark.



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