Firefighters mourn loss of one of their own

Dennis Shennard, a member of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, went into cardiac arrest during a drill on June 26, and later died at the hospital.PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH BRUNSWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT
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Dennis Shennard, a member of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, went into cardiac arrest during a drill on June 26, and later died at the hospital.PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH BRUNSWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT

While conducting a drill at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville, Dennis Shennard, a member of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, suffered a medical episode.

Shennard received immediate treatment at the scene on June 26 by fellow firefighters and the Kendall Park First Aid Squad and was transported to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, according to information provided by the fire company.

Shortly after his arrival at the hospital, Shennard was pronounced deceased. He had suffered from cardiac arrest during the live burn training with his fellow firefighters, according to reports.

Shennard, 70, was a member of the fire company for 52 years and had held several offices, including captain, line officer and executive officer, and was currently serving as trustee, according to reports.

He was a lifelong Kingston resident.

“Dennis was a dedicated firefighter who we always counted on whether it was responding to calls or assisting around the station. He will be missed by all of us. We will keep his wife Patti and son Dennis II and family in our thoughts and prayers,” Chief John Luck said in the statement.

Fellow fire companies offered their condolences through Facebook posts.

“The Monmouth Junction Fire Department sends our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company, and the family of Life Member Dennis Shennard, who passed away in the line of duty during a training exercise. Dennis served the residents of Kingston and all of South Brunswick Township as a firefighter for over 50 years and will truly be missed by everyone who knew and served with him.”

“Kendall Park Volunteer Fire Company stands with our brothers and sisters at Kingston Volunteer Fire Department on the line of duty death of Firefighter Dennis Shennard. Dennis was not only committed to the residents of Kingston and all of South Brunswick for 50-plus years but also to his fellow firefighters, always leading by example through knowledge sharing and training. Today was one of those days when the unfortunate happened during a live burn training at the fire academy. Dennis, it was an honor to serve the residents of South Brunswick with you and you will truly be missed. Rest easy Brother, we’ll take it from here.”
“We are saddened to hear the news about Firefighter Dennis B. Shennard. … Dennis joined Kingston Fire Department in 1969 and held many positions in the department. Our condolences go out to his his family and Kingston Fire Department during this difficult time. RIP Dennis. We’ll take it from here,” North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Co. No. 3 posted.
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The officers and members of Kingston Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 and the family of Dennis B. Shennard will hold a public tribute to pay final respects in remembrance of the life and service of fallen firefighter Dennis B. Shennard.

Shennard served the Kingston community from Jan. 6, 1969, to the time of his passing on June 26, 2021.

He served as a line officer, serving as both a lieutenant and captain, and at the time of his passing was serving the department as a trustee.

Shennard died after suffering from cardiac arrest during a drill on June 26 at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville.

A viewing will be taking place at the MJ Murphy Funeral Home in Monmouth Junction on Wednesday, June 30 from 6-9 p.m. The first hour will be restricted to family and friends with Fire Service tributes commencing at 7 p.m.

Due to extremely limited parking, fire departments are directed to go to the South Brunswick High School, 750 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction. Use the Ridge Road entrance. Shuttle buses are being provided between the school and funeral home.

Funeral home services at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 1, will be reserved for family and friends.

There will be a motorcade procession of fire apparatus including Kingston and mutual aid fire companies. This motorcade will travel from the funeral home in Monmouth Junction along New Road, Route 522, Promenade Boulevard, Route 27 to Kingston and then to the cemetery.

The public is encouraged to pay their respects in the Kingston community. The motorcade procession will enter Kingston between 10:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Parking may be available at the Presbyterian Church on Main Street or the Methodist Church on Church Street.

The route of the motorcade will enter the Kingston community by traveling south on Route 27, turning left onto Academy Street, and then turn left onto Euclid Avenue where aerial trucks from Princeton and Franklin Park fire companies will present an Honor Guard with an American flag draped between their extended buckets.

The motorcade will then proceed onto Heathcote Road and past the Kingston firehouse where an Honor Guard of firefighters from Kingston along with other firefighters from across New Jersey and neighboring states.

The motorcade will then cross Route 27 onto Laurel Avenue and proceed to the cemetery.