Public Notices and Press Releases

Morris County Bids Farewell to Distinguished Fire Safety Leaders

Louis “Lou” Pepe and David J. Barter Retire After Remarkable Careers

(l-r) Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo, Commissioner Deputy Director Stephen Shaw, Commissioner Deborah Smith, Lou Pepe, David Barter, Commissioner Director Christine Myers, Commissioners Douglas Cabana, John Krickus and Tayfun Selen.

Morris County Fire Training Coordinator Louis “Lou” Pepe and Fire Marshall David J. Barter were honored by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners last week for their years of dedication and support to the county, in advance of their retirements today.

County Commissioner Director Christine Myers presented Pepe and Barter official resolutions of honor recognizing their achievements at an April 24 board meeting in Morristown. Colleagues, friends and family gathered to celebrate the two longtime firefighters and their extensive contributions to public safety.

It is because of people like Dave and Lou that we are able to say we live in the best county, where we know we are safe and protected,” said Myers. “They have devoted their lives to making sure our residents’ lives are better and are an inspiration to the next generation to uphold the same values of service and integrity.”

Pepe has served as the Fire Training Coordinator for the Morris County Fire Academy for 30 years, acting as a mentor to academy firefighters, instructors, and peers. Prior to joining the academy as an instructor, he had been a member of the Stirling Hill Volunteer Fire Company since 1977.

Barter, who served as Morris County Fire Marshal since 2007, transitioned to the role of Assistant Fire Marshal in 2015 to spend more time with his family. He previously served for 30 years as the Chief of the Morris County Fire Department, where he received a medal of honor.

Their retirements represent a significant loss to the county's fire safety community.

We’re losing old-school employees-- the kind they don’t make anymore. The kind who would show up on their days off to get things done. We appreciate everything they’ve accomplished for the county and for the academy,” said Scott DiGiralomo, Director of the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety.

Pepe’s distinguished career included active involvement on committees with the Urban Area Security Initiative (a homeland security program) and strong relationships with the New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs Association, the Civil Service Commission, the Division of Fire Safety, local fire departments and fire academies across New Jersey. He revolutionized Morris County’s fire and rescue training programs through innovative technology, enabling uninterrupted operations during the pandemic through online studies.

Cathy Burd, Assistant Director of Morris County’s Dept. of Law and Public Safety, Lou Pepe, David Barter and Commissioner Director Christine Myers.

Barter's exemplary career included his involvement in projects that solved complex fire safety issues for county facilities, including the Morris View Nursing Home, Homeless Solutions buildings, the Morris County Correctional Facility and juvenile facilities. Barter's two sons also followed in his footsteps, becoming esteemed firefighters.

Law and Public Safety Assistant Director Cathy Burd commended Pepe and Barter for their tireless work ethic and compassionate leadership, emphasizing their positive impact on future generations of firefighters.

Pepe and Barter expressed their gratitude for the accolades, stating that they “could not be prouder to be a part of Morris County.”

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