Dominick Marino, the president of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey executive board, died earlier today of a heart attack. He was 61.
Marino was a retired member of the North Hudson Firefighters Local 3950.
In addition to his staunch advocacy on behalf of New Jersey first responders, Marino was well known as a football coach in Brick and North Bergen.
Marino headed a union of more than 70 locals comprising about 6,000 firefighters and more than 500 members of the Professional Emergency Medical Services Association.
“I am deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden passing of my friend Dominick Marino, President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey. I recently saw Dom and his fellow IAFF members in Washington, D.C., advocating as always for the men and women who protect all of us,” said Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden). “As a retired firefighter and as a labor leader, Dom always put others ahead of himself. New Jersey lost a true hero today. I extend my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Gov. Phil Murphy praised Marino in a statement released on Tuesday evening.
“Dominick Marino didn’t just run into burning buildings, he knocked down walls to protect his fellow firefighters,” Murphy said. “He put his heart and soul into everything he did for his members, and in doing so he exemplified everything you ever could want from a leader.”
Murphy said than Marino’s name could easily have been attached to the Thomas P. Canzanella 21st Century First Responders Protection Act “because of the dedication he showed in getting it passed.”
“I will miss his friendship and good counsel, and his regular check ins, including this week. He was one of a kind,” Murphy said. “My deepest condolences go out to his family, his membership, and the entire New Jersey firefighting community.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) said that he was “floored and devastated by the passing of Dominick Marino.”
“Don was a champion for New Jersey’s firefighters and he was also a good friend of mine. We worked hand-in-hand together on getting fire grants, improving staffing, and scores of other areas for our fire heroes. The firefighter cancer registry we finally passed into law would not have been possible without Don’s vision and drive. I valued his direction at all times,” Pascrell said. “In the middle of this pandemic Don was working every day trying to procure protective equipment and supplies to keep our Bravest safe. I want to offer my condolences to his family, his friends, and to his brothers and sisters in the firefighters union. This loss cuts deep.”
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez called Marino “a tireless and vigorous advocate for New Jersey’s firefighters.
“Truly one of our state’s bravest, he never backed down from a fight and put the health and safety of his members first and foremost. I was proud to work with Dominick to develop and pass the Firefighter Cancer Registry, extend lifetime benefits for our 9/11 heroes, and increase federal investments to ensure our firehouses have the staffing and equipment they need to protect our communities,” Menendez said. “I will always appreciate and miss Dominick’s advice and counsel on some of the most pressing issues facing our first responders. My heart goes out to his family, loved ones and all the members of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey mourning this tremendous loss.”
New Jersey AFL-CIO president Charles Wowkanech mourned the loss of one of his executive board members.
“His heart was always with the men and women who run toward danger when others run away,” Wowkanech said. “His love of home and community shaped everything he did. He cared for family and friends, for the kids he coached, and especially for the thousands of firefighters and first responders he represented. Dominick was a brother among brothers. We will miss him greatly. Our prayers go out to his family.”