NJ Dept. Swears in First Hispanic Fire Chief

Nov. 30, 2023
Puerto Rican flags were waved as a veteran Paterson firefighter raised his right hand.

Puerto Rican flags waved in the halls of Paterson Fire Headquarters Wednesday as Alejandro Alicea raised his right hand to be sworn in as fire chief.

“It’s just an honor for me and I am humbled by the appointment,” the city's first Hispanic fire chief said.

The Paterson native has moved through the ranks of the fire department for the past two decades, PIX11 reported. 

“Our culture has come a long way, our people have come a long way. But we have Puerto Ricans and Hispanics in general in every facet of every agency throughout this city. I’m just in a long line of Puerto Ricans and Hispanics to fulfill another position with honor.”

In addition to completing an emergency communications center, plans call for renovations to  firehouses.

“To be it’s an honor to have other children look up to us and realize that they too -I know it’s cliche- but they, too, can achieve great things."