On Monday October 31,2022, Firefighter Derek O'Donnell retired after 21 years of service as a career Firefighter for Willingboro Township. FF O'Donnell had 32 years of overall dedicated service between his career and volunteer years with the department.
Derek O'Donnell joined with Willingboro Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 in June 1990. He served as a volunteer firefighter from June 1990 until September 4, 2001, the day he was hired as a career firefighter. Derek started at the Beverly Fire Company No.1, prior to moving across Rt. 130 to Willingboro. He spent long hours in the fire house in Willingboro, but his love of the profession took him to Seat Pleasant Fire & Capital Heights Fire, both in MD as well as Plumsted Fire Dept.
Derek is a Life Member of the Willingboro Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, a Life Member of the New Jersey State Firemen's Relief Association, and an Exempt Member of the New Jersey State Firemen's Relief Association. Derek is also a Life Member of the Willingboro Emergency Squad.
While volunteering, Derek served as Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, Safety Officer, Dive Team Coordinator, and Engineer. Also, Derek served as Engineer for the Willingboro Emergency Squad.
Derek served as the President of the Willingboro Volunteer Fire Company for several years. Derek continues to serve as the President of the Willingboro Township Fireman's Relief Association and the President of the Willingboro Township Fireman's Exempt Association.
Derek was one of the primary divers for many years and has been credited with multiple recoveries including several saves. He spent many hours on top of and below the water obtaining many certifications, ultimately earning the designation of Dive Master and the Police Diver accreditation.
Derek received multiple Mayor's Awards, Chief's Awards, the American Legion Award, the Veteran of Foreign War Award, and the Captain's Award. He also was presented multiple Station Awards. Derek has also received the 200 Club Unit Citation, State Chief's Association Award, the PFANJ Valor Award, and The Burn Center at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Team Effort Award.
Congratulations and good luck to Derek and his family.
We all wish FF Derek O'Donnell a Happy and Healthy Retirement. CONGRATULATIONS!!!