By MELISSA BEVERIDGE
Neptune City Fire Cadet Richard T. Maher received the Terry Morcom Memorial Cadet Grant during the Borough Council meeting this week. He was the first cadet to receive the award.
Established this year by the children of Morcom: Kimberly, Andrea, and Craig, it honors the memory of their father, Terry Morcom who joined the Neptune City Fire Department in 1969 and became chief in 1983.
Morcom had cancer and died last year while he was still on active duty in the department.
Current or former cadets of the NCFD that are advancing their education through secondary school, trade programs, or other opportunities can apply for the grant, which is funded by Morcom’s children.
“The scholarship honors him (Morcom) by celebrating the young men and women who give of themselves to their community,” said Andrea Bast, daughter of Morcom. “We wanted to highlight that, as with our dad, it can help shape you through the friendships and bonds that it will foster.”
Currently, the Neptune City Fire Cadet program has nine active cadets who support the fire company by training with the department, checking the trucks, cleaning the equipment, and learning everything about the fire service.
“It’s an excellent vehicle for young kids to get involved,” said Larry Sauer of the Neptune City Fire Department who noted that the cadets are never in harm’s way.
Maher received the $2,000 Morcom Memorial Grant for his service in the cadet program and his passion for the NCFD. He is currently attending his first year at Ocean County College and is one of the first cadets who graduated the program after joining four years ago.
“With the assistance of the knowledge received in the program, I have successfully passed the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety Fire Fighter One Program along with many other advanced training classes,” said Maher in his essay. “The NCFD Cadet Program has not only provided me with knowledge, but has also led me to my passion.”
“Our dad was a strong supporter of the cadet program and admired the kids that worked hard and participated,” Bast said. “This scholarship represents the love, appreciation, and awe we had for him and these kids.”