Up the stairs, into the fire, I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher.
Sam Springsteen, the youngest son of legendary New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen, was among the 15 Jersey City firefighters sworn in Tuesday during a ceremony at City Hall.
“It was a long road, and he was very dedicated,” Bruce told reporters following the ceremony in the council chambers.
Sam Springsteen, 25, along with his class endured five months of training at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy. Prior to joining the Jersey City Fire Department, he graduated from the Monmouth County Fire Academy in 2014 and served as a member of the volunteer Colts Neck Fire Department in Monmouth County.
“I don’t know what to say. … It wasn’t easy,” Sam said as he hugged and took pictures with family and friends, including his mother, Patti Scialfa.
“Into the Fire,” which appeared on Springsteen’s 2002 studio album “The Rising,” was inspired by the sacrifice of the firefighters killed on 9/11.
“They’re such nice ppl,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said of Bruce and Patti in a tweet. “We got to spend some time in my office talking about music but more than that they’re proud parents of a new JC Firefighter.”
Springsteen is one of 204 firefighters hired under the Fulop administration, which has boosted the department’s ranks to 666 uniformed firefighters and superiors.
Also sworn in were: Luke Gibbons, Thomas McFarlane, John Bramley Jr., Conor Keim, Shane Richeal, Jason Garrison, Omar Soto, Sean Brady, Connor Wujciak, Angel Ortez, Francis Degnan, Richard Ferment, Andrew Crilly and Francesca Zappella, the younger sister of one of Jersey City’s first female firefighters, Constance Zappella.
Francesca Zappella, 26, who graduated from the fire academy at the top of her class of recruits, was sworn in while standing with her older sister.
Constance Zappella, 40, a firefighter for 18 years, was among the first two female firefighters in the city’s history when she joined in 2003. She has since become the fire department’s first woman battalion chief.
“She definitely inspired me to go to the fire department,” said Francesca, who was a police officer for three years in Jersey City. “If I hadn’t seen how much she loved her job I don’t think I would’ve switched over.”
Constance Zappella recalled an essay Francesca wrote about her when Francesca was 10. Constance never thought she would be the motivating factor in her sister’s decision to pursue a career as a firefighter.
“I’m speechless, which doesn’t really happen often, I am very proud of her today,” Constance said. “I’m glad she’s running into burning buildings with me.”
Police Officer Joseph Connors, 30, Francesca’s fianc\u00e9 and father to their 16-month old daughter Olivia, said his future wife is tougher than he is.
“It’s a safe house that’s for sure,” said Connors.
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