William Hasko Jr. sworn in as Linden Fire Chief
On Friday, November 12, 2021, William Hasko Jr. was sworn in as Fire Chief for the City of Linden.
Chief Hasco, a graduate of Linden High School class of 1987, was appointed to the Linden Fire Department on March 15, 1996. Over the next 25 years he climbed his way up the ladder reaching the rank of Lieutenant on July 1, 2006, Captain on April 1, 2010, Deputy Chief on March 1, 2014, and Provisional Fire Chief on October 15, 2019.
In addition, Chief Hasko has been a Deputy Coordinator for Linden Office of Emergency Management since 2016.
Throughout his 25-year Career, Chief Hasko has earned numerous certifications including:
- Certified Emergency Medical Technician
- Associate degree in Fire Science
- Fire Official
- Level 2 Fire Instructor
- Incident Management Level 3
- and is a Certified Technician in Rope, Confined Space, & Trench Rescue
- Fire Chief Hasko is the recipient of the following valor awards throughout his career:
- NJ State FMBA Valor Award in 1999
- Knights of Columbus Firefighter of the Year Award in 2000
- EMS Service Award in 2000 and 2003
- FMBA Group Effort Award in January 2010
- NJ State FMBA Group Effort Non-Fire Award in December 2014
Chief Hasko has always been an active member of Linden FMBA Local #34 & #234, where he served on the executive board for 18 years, which included being the President of #34 and #234 for a combined 13 years.
During his tenure as Deputy Fire Chief, Chief Hasko oversaw the Linden Fire Department SCBA/Air Monitoring Division. In 2017 he administered a $1 million dollar project and purchased of all new SCOTT SCBA Air packs, bottles, facepieces and air compressors for the department. In addition, he purchased all new air monitoring meters for the Department. This included for the first time, distribution of Carbon Monoxide meters connected to all the EMS First Aid Bags as well as assigning them to all Fire Prevention personnel to use during inspections. These new safety requirements help detect the early presence of Carbon Monoxide.
Chief Hasko also oversaw the Marine Division. During his tenure he expanded the division by successfully applying for and was awarded FEMA Port Security Grants. The funds were used to purchase additional equipment and training at a low cost to the citizens of Linden.
Lastly one of Chief Hasko’s proudest accomplishments is the creation of the Linden Junior Fire Academy. The JR Academy is a weeklong summer camp for Linden Youth graduating 7th and 8th grades an opportunity to learn about the fire service, through a series of lectures, demonstrations, and fun hands-on activities presented by members of the Linden Fire Department. The “recruits” learn about fire safety and Fire Department Operations and enlighten them on the possibility of a future career in firefighting.
Soon after being appointed as the Provisional Fire Chief, the departments Engine #3 was totaled in an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. Chief Hasko was able to quickly find a cost-effective temporary engine replacement for only $4,000, to ensure there was no reduction in fire protection and safety to the members or citizens of Linden.
During the past two years Chief Hasko has overseen the purchase of two new apparatus, Engine #3 as well as a new Engine #1. These apparatuses provide the department with the resources necessary to provide the most efficient and effective fire protection and rescue capabilities to the department and citizens of Linden.
During the second month of being Provisional Fire Chief, Chief Hasko was challenged with the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. Under the leadership of Chief Hasko the department worked tirelessly and successfully to meet the demand of patients needed to be treated and or transported to the hospital for COVID 19 symptoms. The department issued over 40 COVID 19 directives to the firefighters to ensure they had the latest information and guidelines available to them. In addition, the department provided the members with all the required PPE needed to protect them from being infected by the virus to the best of their ability.
During the last two years, Chief Hasko successfully increased the compliment of the fire department by funding four firefighter positions bringing the total number of members on the department to 117. This increase allows the department to staff 2 ambulances 24-hours a day with the ability to man a third ambulance at times without reducing the level of fire protection to the city. This increase was extremely useful during the height of the COVID 19 pandemic and has also led to a substantial decrease in overtime over the past two years and an increase in ambulance revenue.
Some other notable achievements over the past two years’ worth mentioning is the addition of a Deputy Chief to the training division, updating the clothing standards in the department and beginning the process to update the standard operating procedures of the department as well.
Chief Hasko is a proud graduate of Linden High School Class of 1987. In addition, he was a member of the 1st Linden High School Football State Championship team in 1985 and Captain of the undefeated Watchung championship football team in 1986.
Photo by City of Linden