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50 Years Of Fighting Fires


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Sanford “Sandy” Weinberg was recently honored by the Verona Fire Department for 50 years of service. Weinberg is currently the longest serving member of the VFD. A Montclair native who moved to Verona at age 14, Weinberg joined the Verona Auxiliary Fire Department when he turned 17. He graduated from Essex County Vocational and Technical School in 1957.

When he turned 21, Weinberg applied for membership in the VFD and became a member in December 1960. He took a leave of absence while he served in the U.S. Army as a combat adviser in Vietnam from 1963 to 1965.

Weinberg married Justine Christofferson in July 1965 and they have four children, Cheryl, Donna, Laurie and David, along with five grandchildren. He worked at Champlain Company/Bobst Group for 20 years before starting his own business, Universal Life Safety Products, T/A Backstop-USA. His company sells automatic reverse braking systems throughout North America.

Weinberg served as lieutenant and captain of Engine Company 1 before being elected assistant chief for 1973-1974 and then chief in 1975-1976. He is now secretary of Engine Company 1, and has served as secretary of the Verona Firemen’s Relief Association for over 33 years. He was elected to a four-year term as the Essex County Manager of the New Jersey Firemen’s Home in Boonton. Before he completed his term, he was elected to a one-year term as secretary for the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association in 2000 and has been re-elected to this position for 13 years.

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