I had the honor of speaking at the annual Firefighters' Mutual Benevolent Association event on Monday night at the Pines Manor in Edison. Before the event was open to the public, I joined about a dozen judges and many chef's from local restaurants to judge a competition among nearly 30 fire houses. Wow. These guys could really be professional chefs. The best dish was a Duck Confit ravioli prepared with homemade pasta by the firefighters in East Orange.

Later in the evening, I was introduced at the podium by my friend Eddie Donnelly. I spoke briefly about the incredible sacrifice made by New Jersey firefighters in terms of the memory of those lost during the 9/11 terror attacks. The event happened to fall on the anniversary of the first World Trade center attack in 1993 where 88 firefighters were injured. Of course, you don't need to discuss the huge events in order to appreciate the everyday bravery of the heroes who rush into burning buildings to save lives.

Earlier that day, the legislature decided to punt on an issue critical to firefighters and police in New Jersey: control over their pensions. That's a detailed conversation for another day, but suffice to say I stand firmly with our brothers and sisters who wear the uniform to protect our communities, homes and families. Wonder if the Senate president and the new Governor really do have the backs of these heroes...more to come.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea.

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