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Fire Department and Salvation Army Join Forces

Released 21 May 2014

Gym

Fire Department and Salvation Army Join Forces

New Weight Room Ribbon Cutting and Dedication

MIDDLETOWN - The Middletown Fire Department and The Salvation Army are combining resources to celebrate the opening and dedication of "Captain Joe’s Gym" on Thursday May 22nd at 2:00PM. The new facility is located in The Salvation Army location at 515 Main Street, beside the Main Street Fire House.

The idea for "Captain Joe’s Gym" was conceived by Middletown Firefighters. Recognizing the high death rate amongst firefighters due to heart attacks, several firefighters in the department envisioned a way to prevent this unnecessary tragedy. Middletown’s Acting Chief, Robert Kronenberger, applauded those who made the concept a reality. "This idea has been supported by Mayor Dan Drew, Risk Manager Dawn Warner, the Middletown Common Council and The Salvation Army. There is credit to be given to many. Members of the Department saw the problem, identified a solution, and made Captain Joe’s Gym a reality. It has truly been a team effort, which will ultimately benefit the residents of Middletown."

Kronenberger, a member of The Salvation Army Middletown Advisory Board, is familiar with the work of the Army and their goal to help others. "It's a natural partnership," he went on to say. When approached with the idea, Major Dave Champlin, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Southern New England, said, "That sounds interesting. I think we can work together and make this happen." And they have!

Captain Joe’s Gym is named in honor of Captain Joseph S. Pagano, Jr., a 28-year veteran of the Middletown Department who suffered a heart attack in the line of duty on November 3, 2006. The "Gym" will have cardio machines, resistance equipment, and free weights and will be monitored by six qualified personal trainers.

Firefighter Sal Cretella commented, "This has been a dream for nearly two years. I, along with fellow firefighter Nick Mayo, came up with the concept of having a gym dedicated to firefighters, allowing us to stay in shape and prevent illness and injury. Through the International Association of Fire Fighters, a few of us were trained as personal trainers, receiving ACE certification, and this put the wheels in motion. Through the partnership between the City and The Salvation Army, we have found a place to ready ourselves to better serve our citizens as stronger, healthier firefighters."


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