Leadership

In 2015, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka launched his vision to consolidate Police, Firefighters, and Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security personnel under the newly created Department of Public Safety. The merger enhances public safety by making the operations of these essential services more efficient and effective. In 2022, Mayor Baraka tapped Fritz Fragé to serve as Newark’s Public Safety Director. He oversees nearly 2,000 city employees, including 1,100 police officers, 650 firefighters, and over 350 civilian employees, all dedicated to serving the residents and visitors of the City of Newark with the utmost in public safety excellence.

Meet the Leaders

Fire Chief Del Ortiz

Newark Fire Chief Del Ortiz is a native Newarker and a 1989 graduate of Sacred Heart High School.

He joined the Newark Fire Division in 2002 and was initially assigned to Engine 11 & Ladder 11, located at 345 South 9th Street, where he served for 11 years. Due to Chief Ortiz’s quick-thinking and astute leadership skills, he was promoted to Captain in 2013 and to Battalion Chief in 2021, overseeing seven fire companies.

Trained as a Hazardous Materials Technician, Chief Ortiz served the past 11 years at Engine 10, Ladder 5, Rescue 1, located at 360 Clinton Avenue.

He was named Newark Fire Chief on October 1, 2023.

Meet the Leaders

Battalion Chief Mark Furka

Battalion Chief Mark Furka is the Chief of Operations for the Newark Fire Division. He joined the Division in February 2007 and was initially assigned to Engine 10 and later to Ladder 5, both located at 360 Clinton Avenue.

Chief Furka also serves as a manager of New Jersey Task Force One, a federal Urban Search & Rescue team, utilizing his expertise in multiple disaster deployments across the country.

He was promoted to Battalion Chief in January 2024 and is a state-certified Certified Public Manager.

Meet the Leaders

Captain Philip Alfano IV

Captain Philip Alfano is the Chief of Staff for the Newark Fire Division. He joined the Division in February 2007 and was initially assigned to Engine 27, located at 87 Elm Road.

Captain Alfano oversees the Division’s Communications Unit and manages its radios and IT hardware. He received his United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner credential to operate fireboats and specializes in Marine Operations.

He was promoted to Captain in April 2017 and is a Registered Nurse.

Meet the Leaders

Captain Kenya E. Dunham

Captain Kenya Dunham is the Chief Executive Officer of the Newark Fire Division. He joined the Division in March 2006 and was initially assigned to Ladder 5, located at 360 Clinton Avenue.

Captain Dunham oversees the operation of the Division’s software management systems and is certified in Urban Search & Rescue.

He was promoted to Captain in June 2022 and holds a B.S. in Computer Science.