Fire Life

Kayaking Tips for the Active Firefighter — Winter Edition

By Lieutenant John Gargagliano
Hackensack (NJ) Fire Department

Why kayaking, you ask? Kayaking is an ergonomic mix of sightseeing, physical exercise, and stress relief. What is better than slowly cruising down a river, soaking in the sights, with nothing to distract you except your own thoughts? Or, if you’re more of a thrill-seeker, you can find yourself in slogging in treacherous water or navigating a tricky river, relying more on the mind and body. Kayaking appeals to all age groups and preferences, whether you’re trying to find elusive water-birds, enjoy nature, or go careening off a cliff to get your adrenaline pumping.

Your options are always vast and numerous with kayaking. Kayaking can involve individuals, groups, and families; you can go kayaking with a friend in a two-seater or go side-by-side in separate boats. You can also mix and match different combinations of people to ensure that maximum fun is had by all. With kayaking, nobody loses—and everybody wins. So, I ask you: Why not kayak?

On December 8, 2010, Derek Rosenfeld met with Lieutenant John Gargagliano of the Hackensack (NJ) Fire Department at Overpeck County Park in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, to talk about getting started on this recreational sport.

Gargagliano talks safety and the importance informing loved ones of your whereabouts before going off on your kayaking trip.

We will return in the spring and summer of 2011 with more kayaking tips from Gargagliano. We here at Fire Engineering and Fire Life wish you all a safe and happy new year!

Derek Rosenfeld is an associate editor for Fire Engineering. He is beginning his sixth season as the assistant baseball coach at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. He is also an infielder for the semipro North Haledon (NJ) Reds. During the mid-90s, Rosenfeld was a three-year starter at second base for the Ramapo College baseball team in Mahwah, New Jersey, where he earned all-New Jersey Athletic Conference honors and was a two-time New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association (NJCBA) all-star selection. He was named MVP of the 1997 NJCBA All-Star Game. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Ramapo College.