Bloomfield Fire Dept. celebrates return of guardsman

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BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield firefighter Ken Hall returned home from his third tour of duty with the New Jersey National Guard in December, and a celebration was planned for him at Bella Napoli in March. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was delayed until Aug. 6, when the restaurant could expand into its parking lot for outdoor, socially distant dining. Hall was the guest of honor at the music and comedy show, which celebrated his transition from one job back into another, and was put on by Gnome Promotions.

A member of the BFD since 2012, Hall was in Iraq from 2008 to 2009 and in Bahrain from 2014 to 2015. Before he got back in December, Hall was in Qatar.

“They’re good with giving me time to reintegrate back to home and spend time with my kids and family,” Hall said in an interview with the Independent Press at the event. “I was always given more time, but I never took all of it. After six weeks I’d get bored.”

Hall, who grew up in and still lives in Wyckoff, is one of five BFD firefighters who are in the military. At most, two of them have been deployed at the same time.

“It’s not super common, but we’ve been able to be flexible,” he said. “We’ve always been able to look out for each other.”

Hall wasn’t able to get home when one of his daughters was born, and the other firefighter military members helped his family out. He’s done the same for them.

“We try to help each other out,” Hall said. “It’s a big brotherhood.”

Band Photo by Amanda Valentovic