What’s a fire department without a fire truck? That won’t be a problem for the Frelinghuysen Volunteer Fire Company.
The Township Committee is purchasing a 1992 International fire engine from the Fredon Volunteer Fire Company for $20,000.
Mayor Keith Ramos said that Fredon would house the truck for up to 10 months while Frelinghuysen completes the necessary work to convert the old DPW building to a firehouse that meets state standards.
Ramos said Frelinghuysen Fire Chief John Shoemaker checked out the truck and gave it a thumbs up.
“The chief that went over there and inspected that truck and really liked it,” Ramos said.
In addition, Ramos said Shoemaker preferred this truck because it was better equipped than a truck the new department was considering previously.
Shortly after the department was formed last year, Frelinghuysen signed a letter of intent to purchase a fire truck from the Fairmount Fire Department in Long Valley for $18,000.
Ramos answered concerns from the committee as to whether the new truck would fit in the township’s new firehouse.
“It will definitely fit in the building once we build it out,” said Ramos.
In August of last year, the committee authorized $67,500 for fire department expenses. In addition, salaries were established for the positions in the department. The chief’s position was allocated at $500 to $1,000, annually; deputy chief $400 to $600; and secretary and treasurer at $200 to $400 each. The funds were already allocated in the current budget, Ramos said.
Before the fire truck or a new firehouse can become operational, all fire department facilities and equipment must be inspected and approved by county and state officials, Ramos added.
In December, the committee announced the first eight members of the department. The new fire company is the first one built from scratch in New Jersey in several decades.
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.