Baraka, Frage Respond to Newark Firefighters’ Union Claims

FULL STATEMENT by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka in the continuing aftermath of a fire that first broke out on the massive Grande Costa D’Avorio vehicle carrier ship docked in Port Newark, when firefighters trying to extinguish the blaze claimed the lives of two beloved Newark firefighters, Augusto Acabou, 45, and Wayne Brooks Jr., 49:

“It is with heavy hearts that our City is approaching the funerals of two fallen Newark Firefighters, Augusto Acabou and Wayne Brooks, Jr. While their families and firefighter colleagues are emotionally processing these losses through their grief, it saddens me that the fidelity of the Newark Fire Division is being questioned. Statements issued to the media at a time when our fallen heroes have yet to be honored by funeral services, are unconscionable, divisive, and only add insult to the injury that the families and our City is already experiencing. 

“As mayor of the city I was born in, it’s inconceivable that I would not have the safety, security, and wellbeing of my fellow residents – my neighbors – at heart, at all times.  I cherish this city – and every soul in it.  I consider it sacred ground. 

“Likewise, it’s equally inconceivable that I would not also have the wellbeing of those who protect us as a primary focus. Our firefighters are among the most valued members of our community – as Mayor, I’m committed to making sure they have the resources they need to do their job safely. That is why at the first notification of two firefighters missing, I rushed to the scene and kept vigil until after both were found.

“I find accusations of intentional understaffing and insufficient training of our public safety personnel very hurtful, and a personal affront to everything my administration and I stand for. I find the timing very questionable. I welcome all dialog that will clear up groundless misperceptions and advance the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for the city they love. I especially look forward to constructive communication one on one with the union, removed from public forum, in addition to a press conference regarding all these matters after we lay these men to rest. Anything else is inappropriate.”




“I am honored that I can confidently attest that the Newark Fire Division is staffed by the best and brightest of men and women who are well-trained and equipped to safeguard the lives and property of our residents and visitors. And even in the face of such a devastating tragedy as the loss of our two fallen Firefighters, Augusto Acabou and Wayne Brooks, Jr., our fire personnel remains focused and vigilant to meet the daily needs of our great city.

“I am disappointed that while our Firefighters are in the midst of grieving, we have to also entertain misleading information about the integrity of our Fire Division. I wholeheartedly question the timing of derogatory statements being made, which only detract from the healing process that the families and colleagues of our fallen heroes are working to embrace. Nevertheless, I stand with the proud members of the Newark Fire Division and applaud their resiliency and fortitude during this most challenging time.”

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One response to “Baraka, Frage Respond to Newark Firefighters’ Union Claims”

  1. Does anyone with half a brain , expect anything less dignified coming from the firefighters’ union ? While the residents of Newark wait for the results of the cause of the tragic fire at the Port, union officials are busy publicly lobbying for more firemen to be hired , thereby increasing the amount of monthly union dues that collect.

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