April 14, 2012: Newark Fireman Runs into City Hall To Help Pass Stalled Bill
“Then there was chaos all over the Council room, as Simmons entered.”
In what is certain to be an astonishing turn of events, Ralph “Buddy” Simmons, a firefighter of the WEST WARD ENG. 11 / LADDER 11 –located at 345 SOUTH 9TH AVENUE ran into City Hall to help pass a stalled bill.
“I was walking past City Hall on Broad Street, when I heard cries for help coming from the second floor of the building. I ran into the building, without thinking or concern for my own safety,” said Simmons, a 12 year veteran of the Newark Fire Department.
At the time, the Newark Municipal Council members were arguing loudly over a “new ordinance that would impact something or other on the citizens of Newark… their quality of life… from all the yelling and screaming I heard, I know I didn’t have much time to help,” added Simmons.
Councilman Ras J. Baraka was yelling one thing, while Augusto Amador and Donald M. Payne, Jr. were shouting another, according to reports. Then there was chaos all over the Council room, as Simmons entered.
Simmons immediately took control, calming down the frenetic members of Council. He carried both council members Ron Rice Jr. and Mildred C. Crump, over his shoulders out onto Broad Street to safety.
City officials say he was fortunate.
“The outcome was positive but it was a very dangerous decision to make and likely not to be successful if you are untrained and unequipped,” noted city of Newark spokesperson, Julia Garza-Martinez. Simmons was treated for ‘verbosity inhalation’ at the University of Medicine and Dentistry.
Firefighter Simmons is being hailed as a hero for running into the City Hall building to save this Bill. But city officials say that such actions often end badly.
“Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made,” laughed Garza-Martinez.