RIVER VALE, N.J. — The River Vale Fire Department has its first female chief — and she’s only 33 years old.
Kellie Goodell was accompanied by her brother — River Vale Fire Marshall and Inspector Gregory Goodell, Jr. — and her 3-year-old nephew, Jaxon, as Municipal Court Judge Vincent Galasso swore her in during Friday's New Year's reorganization meeting.
“Kellie worked three to four times as hard as anyone else,” Mayor Glen Jasionowski said of her climb from junior firefighter. “Behind the scenes [she] always rose to the occasion.”
Supporting Goodell from along the perimeter of the courtroom were her father and RVFD deputy chief, Gregory Goodell, Sr. — who was sworn in as deputy chief during the meeting — as well as dozens of her fellow firefighters, friends and family members.
Also attending were several River Vale and state officials, including New Jersey Assemblywoman Holly Shepisi, who presented Goodell with a resolution on behalf of the state Legislature “recognizing that women always have to work a little bit harder than their male counterparts.”
Representatives from Fire Service Women of New Jersey presented Goodell with a glass boot representing her “fun, fearless, female side.”
As RVFD chief, Goodell is carrying on a family tradition that traces back to her great-great-grandfather and first the township's first first chief, Leopold Hermann (SEE: River Vale Swearing In First Female Fire Chief).
“I’m looking forward to keeping the department together and whole,” Goodell told Daily Voice, “and getting everything done that we need to get done now.”
"I know the town will be in good hands," the mayor said. "We’re very blessed to have you, Chief Goodell.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.