New firefighters and EMT sworn into office

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Five firefighters and one emergency medical technician (EMT) were ceremonially sworn into office at a Lawrence Township Council meeting in December.

Emergency Management Coordinator Jack Oakley said it was a very special night as he welcomed the new firefighters and the EMT and their families to the ceremony.

“This is an opportunity to increase the career staff, which is much needed to continue to provide the service that we do here in Lawrence Township,” Oakley said.

Oakley introduced the five career firefighters and the EMT and outlined their backgrounds. Three of the five new firefighters grew up in Lawrence Township and were volunteer firefighters.

Firefighter Ryan Dlabik

Ryan Dlabik grew up in Lawrence Township. He is a third-generation firefighter, Oakley said. His grandfather, father, uncles and brothers were volunteer firefighters.

Dlabik joined the Lawrence Road Fire Co. in 2000 as a cadet member. After he became a full member, he worked his way up the ranks from firefighter to lieutenant to captain and fire chief.

Firefighter Wayne Hannon Jr.

Wayne Hannon Jr., who grew up in Lawrence Township, followed in his father’s footsteps as a volunteer firefighter, Oakley said. He joined the Lawrence Road Fire Co. in 2006 and rose through the ranks to become fire chief.

Hannon was a 911 dispatcher for Mercer County Central Communications, Rutgers University and the Lawrence Township Police Department before being hired as a paid firefighter, Oakley said.

Firefighter Drazen Medich

Drazen Medich moved to Lawrence Township from Florida in 2014. He graduated from Lawrence High School in 2018. He came to love his new hometown, which made his decision to serve its residents quite simple, Oakley said.

Medich grew up playing ice hockey and played three years of junior hockey for the Utica Junior Comets. Working as a team is natural for Medich.

Firefighter Tim Sharpley Jr.

Timothy Sharpley Jr. grew up in Hamilton Township and became a volunteer firefighter with Hamilton Township Fire District 3 in 2017. He moved to Lawrence Township in 2021 and worked as a per diem firefighter until he was hired as a full-time firefighter, Oakley said.

Firefighter Adam Szyszko

Adam Szyszko grew up in Lawrence Township and joined the Lawrenceville Fire Co. as a junior firefighter. He became deeply involved in the fire service and knew he wanted to become a career firefighter, Oakley said.

Szyszko volunteered with the Lawrenceville Fire Co. and worked part time for South Brunswick Fire District 3 and the Princeton Fire Department. He recently earned an associate’s degree in fire science administration from Mercer County Community College.

Justin Riley is one of the newest EMTs to join Lawrence EMS. He worked for Trenton EMS for five years and was promoted to EMS captain, Oakley said.

Riley was a per diem EMT with Lawrence EMS for four years before he was hired fulltime. He said he is honored to serve the Lawrence Township community.

Basilio DeJesus Jr., who was also hired as an EMT with Lawrence EMS, was unable to attend the meeting.

Oakley praised the new firefighters and EMTs. Each one is dedicated to the community and to serving Lawrence residents.

“You couldn’t ask for a better group of individuals. They are going to be the people that when you ring the bell, they answer. When you are in trouble, they will be there,” he said.