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The Fire And First Aid Training Center

Fire and EMS training center buildings

About the Training Center

The Ocean County Training Center in Waretown opened its doors in September 1998 as the home of Ocean County's fire and first aid academies. Since that time countless numbers of community-spirited volunteers use the facility each and every day in order to learn new skills or hone those they have already been taught. From firefighters to emergency medical technicians, from law enforcement to Ocean County Vocational-Technical students, the Training Center, under the leadership of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners provides a top-notch learning experience for all of the men and women who give so much back to this great County.

When the facility first opened in 1998, it marked the culmination of years of planning and development overseen by an advisory committee that was dedicated to bringing about the finest facility possible - one that would provide firefighters and emergency medical technicians with the important tools they need to serve their communities. The members of the Fire and First Aid Training Center Advisory Committee spent countless hours making certain that when the doors finally opened to the center, it would be one all of Ocean County could truly be proud of.

The facility, located off Route 9 on Volunteer Way, is more than bricks and mortar. From the instructors to the students to the staff, it's a result of all their efforts combined that makes it the success that it is today. The Training Center stands as a tribute to the thousands of volunteers whether students or instructors who have come together as the backbone of the facility - breathing life into it each time they walk through its doors.

In time, the training center will be expanded to meet the growing needs of the emergency services professionals in Ocean County. The training center currently includes six individual buildings housed on 18 acres of property located at 200 Volunteer Way. Each building has individual and unique features that aid in the enhancement of the training of Ocean County's volunteers and personnel. Included at the training center site is an administration building, five classrooms, a break room and kitchen, an indoor dual overhead door training area, smoke house, burn building, natural gas fire simulator, extrication pad staging area, drill tower and control tower.

The goal of the Ocean County Training Center has always been to offer exceptional training to volunteers. Courses are run throughout the year to train new volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians. Veteran volunteer firefighters and EMTS can also take advantage of courses that will teach them the latest advances and techniques in these areas.

About the Staff

Harold R. Morris - Director
The Ocean County Board of Commissioners appointed Mr. Harold Morris the Director of the Ocean County Training Center in Ocean Township (Waretown) in November 2007.

This appointment followed the retirement of long-time Director, Kenneth G. (Jerry) Holman.

Mr. Morris, born and raised in Brick Township, New Jersey, moved to Beachwood, New Jersey with his wife Jeri in 1976. Once established in Beachwood, Mr. Morris served twelve years on Beachwood's municipal governing body. What started with six years on the Borough Council ended with another six years as Mayor. Prior to that, Mr. Morris served on the Beachwood Sewerage Authority, as both a member and then as vice-chairman.

During his tenure as Director Holman's assistant, Mr. Morris gained the understanding of all the workings of the Department as well as its requirements on the grounds and in the office. Since the conceptual idea, he has been part of the plans to add a 21,000 square foot addition to the Training Center, which will include classrooms, office space and an auditorium. Freeholder-Liaison John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety said the transition from Director Holman to Director Morris was "seamless". "Hal's input and now his direct supervision will result in the project being run smoothly".

With eighteen years of experience in government, Mr. Morris is very familiar with the operations and needs of Ocean County's fire companies, first aid squads and police departments. Throughout his many years of service to the community, Director Morris received the "Community Leadership Award" from the Boy Scouts of America was honored twice by the Ocean County Chief's of Police Association, has been named an honorary member of the Beachwood Fire Department and was presented the "Silver Card" by the Beachwood Police P.B.A. He is an Associate Member of the Ocean County Chiefs of Police Association and serves as a Commissioner on the Ocean County Missing and Exploited Children's Advisory Commission.

For several years, Director Morris has been an advocate of Megan's Law while leading the fight for tougher laws to further restrict convicted sex offenders from living near schools, parks and other public areas where children play. He continues to push for mandatory jail time for any child molester. These bills have been sponsored by the 9th District lawmakers and are awaiting approval by the New Jersey Legislature.

Director Morris and his wife Jeri have been married since 1974. They have two daughters, Maria and Helecia, a son Tyler and a grandson Hunter.

Stephen J. Brennan - EMS Training Coordinator
Stephen J. Brennan has held the position of Ocean County EMS Coordinator since 1988. Steve had worked for the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department – Office of Emergency Management prior to being transferred to the Training Center upon its opening in September 1998.

As a certified EMT since 1977, Mr. Brennan has accumulated the necessary knowledge and skills required to act as the EMS Training Coordinator. Steve has volunteered his time for over 25 years with the Dover-Brick Beach First Aid Squad serving as past Captain and is currently an active life member.

Mr. Brennan''s position requires planning, coordinating and organizing the activities involved in the rescue, transportation and care of accident or catastrophe victims and other medical assistance. He is also required to maintain contact with local First Aid Squads and Hospitals to keep everyone abreast of pertinent information. Steve acts as liaison to the County First Aid Squads at the Ocean County Emergency Operations Center when activated during County emergencies.

Mr. Brennan is the lead Liaison between the Ocean County Fire and First Aid Training Center and MONOC, who under a Memorandum of Understanding provides EMS Training at the Training Center.

In 2001, the Ocean County EMS Academy and the Ocean County College articulated an agreement to award college credits for successful completion of EMS related courses. This agreement allows advancement toward an Allied Health Services Associate Degree from Ocean County College.

Dennis Allen - Fire Training Coordinator
Dennis Allen is a Certified Level 1 and 2 Fire Service Instructor, and Drill Ground Instructor with the State of New Jersey. Dennis is also certified by the State Divisionof Fire Safety as Fire Fighter Level 2, Fire Officer Level 2 and Incident Management Level 3. Further, he is a Youth Fire Setter Coordinatormk, Certified Instructor for the Police Training Commission and an Arson Investigator for the Division of Criminal Justice. In addition, Dennis has served as a Fire Fighter for 22 years with the Beachwood Volunteer Fire Compay where he was former Chief and current Assistant Chief. Dennis believes in Pride and Ownership, History, and Tradition with in the Fire Service. "Never lose focus on why you joined the Fire Service".

Deputy Fire Marshal Van Marter's position at the Academy entails both administrative and hands-on. He is responsible for developing the fire-training schedule each year and ensuring that course needs are met. He also sees to it that the part time and volunteer instruction staff is provided with the most up to date course materials and training aids that are needed to complete their goal. Van Marter is also responsible for coordinating hands-on drills with Ocean County's sixty-two (62) fire companies. He acts as a liaison between the Ocean County Training Center and the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety. In addition, Van Marter coordinates all training courses offered by the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

Van Marter's goals in this position are quite simple: To make fire training accessible to all Ocean County firefighters, by providing the most up-to-date, informative and technically correct programs to all of our emergency responders.

The Deputy Fire Marshal strives to continue the Fire Academy's long standing tradition of providing quality training at no cost to our hometown heroes - Ocean County's Volunteer Firefighters.

The position of Fire Training Coordinator has been under the direction of the Ocean County Fire Marshal's Office since it was created in 1989.


General Information

Registration Process

Registration for Training Center classes is open to Ocean County firefighters and Emergency Responders. Registration for any course listed may be done via regular mail or fax. Electronic Registration is coming soon. The Chief Officer, Squad Captain or Emergency Management Coordinator must sign all registration forms.

Upon a course being filled all students selected will be notified by telephone that they have been accepted into the class. Each individual is responsible to cancel or confirm for him or herself. Failure to do so could result in their being removed from the class. No walk-in's will be allowed to attend any class.

Dress Code

For all indoor courses that are conducted in the classroom setting only, a casual but neat appearance is required. For any training session that is outside of the classroom setting, the lead instructor shall address jewelry and appropriate clothing. Students shall refrain from wearing tank tops, shorts and open-toed shoes such as sandals and flip-flops. All requirements for SCBA use will be followed to insure student safety.

No PPE shall be worn inside the administration building.

Training Request Forms & Hours

Just click the Training Facility Request form link below to complete the form online and expedite the process.

In order to keep an accurate record of training requests and to help prevent scheduling conflicts, the Ocean County Training Center requires any organization who wishes to use the facility to properly fill out and submit a facility request for training prior to the training taking place. Request forms must be signed and may be faxed or mailed to the Training Center.

There is a minimum of two-weeks notice for facility requests.

Assumption that a training request will be approved should not be made until either a confirmation letter is received or a verbal approval is given to the requesting agency.

Training Facility Request Form
Training Facility Use Agreement Form (PDF)

Authority of Training Center to Cancel Or Suspend Training Sessions

Due to severe weather conditions, hazardous procedures or abuse of the facility and its property, the staff of the Ocean County Training Center shall have the authority to cancel, postpone or suspend any training session if deemed necessary. Any student, representing any organization, which uses inappropriate language, causes unrest or is disruptive or violent in nature, shall be immediately dismissed from the training session. Should this occur, a letter to the head of the organization that AUTHORITY OF TRAINING CENTER student represents will be sent detailing the nature of the incident. That student shall also be prohibited from attending training sessions at the Academy until corrective actions occur.

Academy Cancellations

If for any reason the Training Center has to cancel or postpone a course, an announcement of the cancellation will be made via:

1. Telephone, if possible

2. Ocean County Communications via - Fire Dispatch Channel and EMS 1

3. Radio station: K 98.5 FM WJRZ 100.1 FM WOBM 92.7 FM & 1160 AM

Notification of Injury

Any student sustaining an injury during a training session shall immediately report the incident to the lead instructor or officer in charge. A Training Center accident report must be completed and given to the on-site Training Center representative before leaving the Ocean County Training Center grounds.

Damage/Malfunction of Academy Equipment

Any malfunction of, or damage to Academy equipment must be reported to the on-site Training Center representative before leaving the Ocean County Training Center grounds.

Food & Drinks

Food and Drinks are prohibited from all classroom sessions unless medically required. The Training Center is equipped with a lunchroom area (tables and chairs) inside the building. There is also a refrigerator and microwave in the kitchen. The Training Center recycles, so please used the containers made available for plastic, aluminum and trash.

The lunchroom may be used for any food or drinks brought on site for classroom or outdoor training sessions. It is the responsibility of the using organization to ensure all debris is properly disposed of after use. Water jugs and an ice machine are available at the Control Tower for training sessions.

Under no circumstances shall any Alcoholic Beverages be permitted on the Training Center grounds.