This issue will feature Warren Jones, someone in the Delaware Fire Service that we all know very well. Warren joined the Elsmere Fire Company in 1960 and is
currently an active member with the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company since moving to Sussex County in 2005.
Warren graduated from H.C. Conrad High School in 1963 and served in the Delaware Air National Guard. Many of us in New Castle County remember dealing with Warren when he worked at A.H.Angerstein in Elsmere. He worked there for 38 years before moving south of the canal with his lovely wife, Rose. Warren served the Elsmere Fire Company in both the fire line and administrative sides serving as Lieutenant; Captain, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief and Chief, then moving over to become a Director, Secretary, Treasurer and President. Warren’s fire service didn’t end with Elsmere, however, he simply joined Rehoboth Beach VFC where he has served as Fire Recorder, Assistant Engineer, Station Manager, PIO and Driver/Operator.
Warren received most of his firefighting training at the Delaware State Fire School, eventually becoming a Senior Instructor with over 40 years experience providing education to our younger generation and some of us older firefighters, as well. He is also a graduate of the NFA and has attended training classes at FDIC and the IAFC Symposium in the Sun.
All of his fire service background enabled him to move through the chairs of the New Castle County Volunteer Firemen’s Association to become President, and then through the chairs of the DVFA, serving as President for 2008-2009. With his background serving in these associations he accepted the position of Executive Manager for the DVFA in 2011. Warren has done an exceptional job in this position and is most always at the county meetings, out of state meetings and of course spending countless hours in Legislative Hall when needed.
Warren followed in the footsteps of his father and mother who were very active with the Elsmere FC. His dad was Chief Engineer for 16 years and also served as a board member. His mom was very active in the Ladies Auxiliary, hardly ever missing an event or catering. I can remember them both very well working together when Station 16 hosted County/Chiefs meetings. His brother was active before entering the US Air Force.
The highlight of Warren’s service revolved around his son, Christopher. I can remember Chris being on the fire apparatus at parades or around the station as their mascot when he was a youngster. At age 15 he became a junior. He loved every part of the fire company activities and was very active until his untimely death. Warren said that he still cherishes his short life here on earth and feels emptiness of his passing. Warren is grateful that Chris had the chance to experience what we do. He learned and saw more of life than kids twice his age. Rose and Warren, I know that Chris is watching over you two and very proud of what his father has accomplished.
Warren has been the recipient of many awards and accolades during his career. This includes three Life Save awards, four Incident Citations and the Medal of Honor for Heroism
from the Elsmere FC. Since being with the Rehoboth Beach VFC he has received the \
Meritorious Life Save award from the Delaware State Fire Chiefs Association. In addition he has been inducted into the DVFA and Delmarva Fire Service Halls of Fame. Warren stated that he didn’t want to belittle any of these awards because he was truly appreciative of them, however the true highlight is the people that he has met and worked with both on the fire scenes, and in the companies and associations. These folks are remarkable. Seeing their love and dedication to serve their fire companies and auxiliaries are experiences that he will remember the most. While serving the NCCVFA, he received the County Executive’s Excellence in Volunteer Leadership, not once but twice. This shows how much dedication and devotion Warren has for the fire service, not only in New Castle County but throughout the State of Delaware. His only regret is that his son Christopher did not live long enough to relish these things.
Some of the highlights of his time with EFC are the fires that he either commanded, drove an engine/ladder or was on the back step/jump seat. These would include fires at Avisun, Doeskin, Lou’s Shoe Bazaar, Cinema 141, Grants Department Store, Independence Mall, Delaware Hospital for Mentally Ill, Latino Community Center, Knights of Columbus Hall, C & W Speed Shop, Claymont High School, Astro Shopping Center and natural disasters like the floods in Elsmere. How many of these were some of you on? I know that I made several of these as a member of Five Points. I know that Warren was Chief of several of these alarms … and Warren was a good chief! Of course we can’t forget the blizzards in Sussex County after he moved down there and was active with RVFC.
Warren has had the opportunity during his career to experience several milestones. He was President of the NCCVFA when the World Trade Center was attacked in 2001. He was returning from meetings in Dover and going to the dedication of the NCC Dispatch Center only to find all entrances blocked by police vehicles. He then responded to Elsmere and was part of the fire task force and driving Squrt 16. The DVFA assigned him the task of handling Delaware fire companies responses to the funerals and memorial services for members of FDNY. Warren and many other fire service folks from NCC attended a memorial service for one of the youngest members of FDNY to die in the WTC. They finally found his remains at the end of the excavation of ground zero along with the rest of his crew. His name was Michael D’Auria. Warren said this is something that will
forever be in his mind and he is glad that he had the opportunity to do these things for our brothers and sisters in New York.
One last item that Warren added to his resume was, when President of the DVFA in 2009, he had the distinct pleasure to lead 400 Delaware firefighters in the Presidential Inaugural Parade. Of course we all know that our good friend Joe Biden was selected to be the Vice President and being the good friend that he has been, it was an honor for us to be there. Warren stated that it was a very cold day but one that he will never forget. I remember seeing films and pictures of all of our gals and guys huddling around the heaters set up in tents for them. Sure wish I could have been there. Warren said, “That was one of the highlights of my career.”
I asked Warren who might have been one of his biggest mentors during his rise through the fire service and he said that would have to be one of the greatest fire service people he ever knew, Mr. Lou Amabili. Not surprising for many of us. He said that they talked all the time about various fire service issues and how they could possibly solve some of them.
I asked Warren what words of wisdom he would have for the younger generation coming on board now.
“I would tell them to spend a lot of time at the fire station when they first join, learn what it is all about, learn to know the people and listen to them and get to know them as well as you can. Our creed crosses many generations. We are a big brother and sisterhood. There is this incredible bond that joins us together. Then learn the business of the fire service and how it works. Train with an open mind because someday you will learn that we touch lives, you will touch lives, it will happen. Lastly, I would tell them to enjoy themselves. There is no greater gift in this world than what we do. No greater gift!”
I would just like to say that it has been a pleasure to do this article on Warren and a lot of what he said and has done doesn’t surprise me.
Warren will be remembered for a long time for all that he has done for the Delaware Fire Service, and I don’t think he is done yet.
Warren, thanks for a great job!
-Fire News story by Bob Romig