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Elm City Freddy Fixer Parade

2018 Grand Marshal

New Haven Fire Chief, John Alston, Jr.

Since the age of 4, John has wanted to be a Firefighter. Chief John Alston is a 33-year veteran of Fire and Emergency Services. He holds the title of Fire Chief where he commands the over 350 proud professional women and men of the New Haven Fire Department. He is a published author, blogger and trainer, #fireofficertrust. He is the Executive Director of the Fire Officer Trust – a not for profit company dealing with Emergency Management Training and Consulting.
     Chief Alston came to New Haven after spending 31 years in the Jersey City Fire Department. There he worked his way up through the ranks to the number two position. His past assignments were Chief of Staff, Chief of Training, the Chief of Special Operations which gave him command over the HazMat, the C.B.R.N.E. Fire Boats, the Heavy Rescue Company and Squad 4. Just prior to joining New Haven, he visited Durban, South Africa, as part of a training delegation for the 9/11 Fund. He is a welcomed keynote speaker on the lecture circuit and always seeks opportunities to train.
     In the Jersey City Fire Department, John commanded the First Battalion which covers the middle third of the City. He was a ten-year veteran of Jersey City’s Heavy Rescue Company which responded to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
     Chief Alston teaches at F.D.I.C., the largest conference for firefighter training in the world, and has taught in Canada, Kenya, South Africa and Mexico. He is the Director of Curriculum & Senior Instructor for the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute for Executive Fire Officers. He is the technical consultant for the High-Rise Fire Safety Manager Program, taught at New Jersey City University, currently in use by the City of Jersey City.
     Chief Alston is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He is a Regional Area Coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security. Chief Alston is a 32nd Degree and Past Master in the Prince Hall Masons.
     John, however, is most proud to be known as Cheryl’s husband of 31 years and the father of 2 fine sons; John, III of Morehouse College and Malcolm Kendall of Liberty University.
     John has a very fundamental belief in the true mission of emergency services, “Prepare yourself to meet the needs of people for any emergency; use the best practices and share them. Someone’s life depends on it…Maybe even your own.”

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