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Company & Building History
Located at the north end of Long Beach Island, the small town known then as Barnegat City had become home for many commercial fishermen as well as a resort for summer visitors.

By the 1930's the community was growing larger and was in need of a fire company, possibly inspired by the Sunset Hotel fire in 1932, so the townspeople began raising funds and collecting donations for the future fire company.

On February 10th, 1937, a meeting was held at the towns schoolhouse by the 12 founding members, to officially recognize "The Barnegat City Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, of Barnegat City, NJ" and on February 17th, 1937, the Barnegat City Vol. Fire Company No. 1 was incorporated by the state of New Jersey.


Laying the foundation - 1938
Secretary Ole Munch, President Alf Brandvik,Vice President Henry Erlitz


In 1938, the construction of the two bay fire house began on the corner of West 10th Street & Central Avenue. The fire house remains in the same location today, with some minor changes over the years. In November of 1948, the community elected to change the towns name from Barnegat City to Barnegat Light, to associate with the towns major landmark, the Barnegat Lighthouse. The fire company also changed its name to the Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Company to coincide with the town.

In the late 1950's, the fire house added a 3rd garage door to the south side of the building to house the towns 1959 Cadillac Ambulance. The door was later removed once the first aid sqaud got its own building just down the street.

During March of 1962, Barnegat Light along with much of the northeastern coastline was slammed by powerful nor'easter, also known as The Ash Wednesday Storm. This storm made the need for a town shelter quite evident and later that year construction started on a large hall that was added to the west side of the existing firehouse. It was orignally built on land owned partially by the fire company and partially by the town, the town later deeded the remaining portion of land over to the fire company.

Also during the 1960's, the companies fire trucks had grown in size over the original fire trucks of the 1940's. To accomidate the larger trucks and equipment, new garage doors were added and the existing framework was raised and widened about a foot in each direction.

The last major change to the fire house came in the late 1980's, with a third engine bay added to the south side of the building. The allowed the housing of more apparatus, as well as increasing storage space.

The fire company turned 70 years old in 2007 and with the help of its volunteers, hopes to serve and protect the communities on Long Beach Island for many more years to come. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining, please stop by the firehouse or contact us via phone or e-mail for application information.


Apparatus History
The company had raised enough money to purchase its first new fire truck, a 1941 Ford / Great Eastern pumper, which would be the towns only piece of piece of apparatus for the next ten years.

The fire company purcahsed its second new pumper in 1951, also a Ford / Great Eastern which was housed right next to its predecessor and later the towns ambulance. By 1961, the companies original pumper had seen 20 years of service and was sold to make room and help pay for the companies third Ford / Great Eastern pumper, this was the companies first enclosed cab truck which made calls during the winter a little less harsh.

In the winter of 1965, the companies 1951 pumper broke beyond repair, which forced the purchase of another truck only 5 years after its last one. Thankfully the owner of New Jersey Fire Equipment Corp., Ernie Day, not only financed the new truck, but loaned the fire company another truck until the 1966 Ford / Great Eastern pumper was completed and delivered to the fire company.

1976 marked another 10 years since the last truck was purchased and the company was ready for another truck, however this would be the last Great Eastern pumper purchased by the company but it was the first diesel powered pumper and still serves as the companies 3rd out pumper today.

In the mid 1980's, the Ocean County Fire Marshals Office sold their 1968 Chevy Step Van to the fire company for $1.00. The truck needed quite a bit of work both inside and out, but with the hard work of the members and a new coat of paint, the company had its first van which was used to carry haz-mat and rescue equipment


The "Barnegat City" Firehouse as it stood in the 1940's

Although the fire company aquired a van in a few years earlier, it was still in need of a new pumper. As it stood, the 1966 pumper was the first due truck, followed by the 1976 pumper. Despite the equipment being in good shape, having a 24 year old first due truck was not practicle. Now that the new addition to the fire house was complete the company was now ready for its new truck and in 1990 the company took possesion of the Ford / S&S Pumper, which is still the companies 1st out truck today.

Reliablity is a key ingredant in fire fighting apparatus, something that the old van which was restored a decade earlier was coming up short on each time it went out.

A new van would have been perfect, but of course would be rather costly, so the company looked for alternatives and just happened to find one in south Jersey, Millville to be exact, where there just happened to be a 1985 C-600 Van being sold by their rescue squad. After the truck was driven up to Barnegat Light to be looked at, negotiations were made and the truck was purchased to replace the first van and again the members went to work on fixing up the new rig to meet the needs of the company.

In 1999, the company purchased another used piece of equipment, this time a 1984 Chevy Suburban 4x4 from the Beach Haven First Aid Sqaud. Originally used as an ambulance, the fire company quickly converted it into its first chiefs vehicle.

The following year, the company took possesion of its first pumper that was not a Ford as the prior six had been, this one being a Freightliner conventional cab. The truck serves as 2nd due pumper, mutual aid and forrest fire truck.

The Suburban proved itself useful over its 3 years of service with the company, but was replaced by a more reliable and practicle Ford F350 4x4 in 2001.


The Barnegat Light Firehouse as seen today.
Photo courtesy of Fred Voss

Also in 2001, the company purchased a Polaris ATV which replaced the Honda ATC loaned to the fire company by one of its members. The ATV serves both as a beach fire vehicle and water rescue vehicle as it tows our jetski on and off the beach. The first jetski was 2002 Kawasaki, followed later by a 2006 Yamaha.

With the 1985 van becoming less reliable and the fire company getting more involved with water and ice rescue, it was only logical that the replacement vehicle would fit the current demands. The company purchased a 2006 Ford F350 4x4, which has been outfitted with larger tires to allow better beach mobilty, off road lights for visiblity on the beach at night and carries equipment for water rescues, ice rescues, beach fires and small haz-mat incidents. It also tows the companies 2000 Pace 20' Cargo Trailer to most calls both in and out of our coverage area.

In 2007, the fire company made two new apparatus purchases, one being a 2007 Ferrara Spartan Pumper and the other being a 2007 Yamaha VX110 jetski. The company was starting its search for a new pumper a couple years prior as the newest pumper was passing its 5th year of service, the other two pumpers had already seen 17 and 30 years of service. As luck would have it, the company came across the Spartan cab pumper that just happened to fit all of our needs and most importantly was low enough to fit inside the older garage bays. Once the new truck was put in service, the 1976 Great Eastern pumper was soon sold to the Tuckerton Fire Company about 22 miles away. The additional jetski was purchased to finally replace the 2002 Kawasaki jetski that was just not reliable enough for emergency service use. Although we had the 2006 Yamaha as our primary jetski, having a backup is very important in a field such as ours. The 2007 Yamaha is a twin to the 2006 model, with exception to its blue exterior finish instead of red.

The next few years were quiet for our equipment, that was until age and the salt water started to take its toll on the 2001 Polaris ATV. Serious rust issues were showing its signs and research began for its replacement. In 2010, a Yamaha Grizzly 700 FI 4x4 was purchased not a moment too soon. Shortly after its purchase, the rear suspension on the Polaris failed due to rust while on a training exercise. It remained out of service for a couple of months but was later rebuilt in house with good used parts and still serves as a backup to this day.

For 2012, the company has already placed an order for a new enclosed trailer to replace the 12 year old Pace trailer that was purchased used, over 6 years ago. The new trailer will be equipped with proper emergency lighting that the Pace trailer never had, more room for storage and better ventilation and interior lighting.

For more information on any of our trucks, past or present, please check the Apparatus section of the website.


 
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