Joseph P. Stitley
Joe continues a long family tradition of service to the Somerville community, volunteering for the Somerville First Aid and Rescue Squad and the Somerville Fire Department from an early age. A graduate of Somerville High School, he continued his education by earning an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Raritan Valley Community College.
Joe joined the Squad as a cadet in 2004 and quickly advanced in that fine organization, becoming EMT Rescue Chief in 2009. That same year he became a member of Lincoln Hose Company #4, bringing a new dimension to firefighting through his skills as an emergency medical technician. His responsibilities with Lincoln Hose have grown steadily over the years, beginning with his selection as Head Driver in 2014. Joe’s commitment to the Fire Department and his strong leadership skills have been recognized by his peers with his subsequent promotions to Lieutenant in 2015, Captain in 2017, and House Chief in 2019. His current position as First Deputy Chief on the Board of Engineers will lead to him becoming Fire Chief for the entire Department in several years.
In addition to his volunteer activities, Joe had a successful 10-year career in the private sector field of fire forensics. His expertise includes managing evidence, evaluating fire losses, reconstructing fires, and providing expert testimony. This experience has led him to become a better firefighter himself and makes him uniquely qualified to train future fire personnel in the techniques needed to protect others as well as themselves in challenging emergency situations.
Joe joined the North Plainfield Fire Department as a full-time Firefighter and EMT on January 1, 2022, where he is utilizing his years of volunteer experience and training in vehicle extrication, rope and trench rescue. He is already proving his value to his new employer, and he continues to respond to Somerville calls when his busy schedule allows. Joe is supported in these efforts by his wife, children, and the entire Stitley family, and their personal sacrifice on his behalf is hereby recognized as well.
For his outstanding volunteerism and service to the Borough of Somerville, it is my honor and privilege to name Joseph P. Stitley as Somerville Citizen of the Year 2022. Please join me and the Somerville Borough Council in wishing him well in all of his future endeavors.
Mayor Dennis Sullivan
January 1, 2023