Fair Haven Fire Department Fair Haven Fire Department Fair Haven Fire Department
Fair Haven Fire Department Fair Haven Fire Department
Fair Haven Fire Department
Fair Haven Fire Department Fair Haven Fire Department


PAST CHIEFS OF THE
FAIR HAVEN FIRE DEPARTMENT

* Deceased

2016 Mike Wiehl
2015 Scott Eskwitt
2014 Daniel J. Kane
2013 Derek S. DeBree
2012 William M. Heath
2011 Wade L. Davis
2010 James Cerruti
2008 Larry D. Hartman
2007 Robert Townshend
2006 Paul Lenskold
2005 Michael Reddy
2004 Robert Frank
2003 Martin L. Coy
2002 John T. Feeny
2001 John Riley, Jr.
2000 John W. Felsmann
1999 Christopher Conk
1998 James Butler III
1997 Andrew Schrank
1996 Darryl Breckenridge
1995 John Warren III
1994 Barry Brett*
1993 T. Stewart Watson
1992 James Kirman
1991 Carl Preston
1990 Michael Foley
1989 Jack Mulvihill
1988 Carl Gerding
1987 Barry Brett*
1986 John Riley
1985 Michael DeFazio*
1984 Michael Connor
1983 David Binaco
1982 Larry D. Hartman
1981 Walter Conk
1980 John V. Feeny
1979 Raymond Bennett
1978 Dwight Havens
1977 John Riley
1976 Douglas A. Sauer*
1975 Richard Brister
1974 William Lang
1973 John P. Felsmann
1972 Clarence Cook*
1971 John Warren*
1970 Bernard A. Dupree*
1969 Charles Van Hart*
1968 William Lang
1967 Arthur Bennett*
1966 John McQueen*
1965 James Acker*
1964 Joseph Connor*
1963 Robert Lundy*
1962 Richard Pettigrew, Sr.*
1961 Patrick Halleran*
1960 Dominic Paolucci*
1959 Bernard Rosenberg*
1958 James W. Connor*
1957 Lawrence J. Farley*
1956 Abel F. Maffeo*
1955 John P. Mulvihill, Jr.*
1954 James B. Costello*
1953 Robert Matthews*
1952 Charles Moeller, Jr.*
1951 William Robbins*
1950 Alfred Robbins*
1949 Thomas Carlock*
1948 Hubert Conover*
1947 Joseph Frank*
1946 Leonard Mack*
1945 Robert Van Brunt*
1944 Luke Pryor*
1943 Lester England*
1942 Barney T. Egeland*
1941 Abram C. Dixon *
1940 Charles Wesson*
1939 Herbert C. Hawkins*
1938 John F. Wagner*
1937 Robert Amendt*
1936 Oscar Becker, Sr.*
1935 William Anderson*
1934 Thomas Cleary*
1933 George W. Curchin*
1932 H. Lynwood Minton*
1931 Russell Hendrickson*
1930 Jacob Grimm*
1929 Leroy King*
1928 Vernon Little*
1927 Russell W. Bennett*
1926 Arthur Davison*
1925 Raymond Davison*
1924 Harry B. Kurtis*
1923 William C. Bennett*
1922 Charles P. Cross*
1921 William B. Little, Jr.*
1920 John P. Mulvihill*
1919 Clarence Little*
1918 Arthur B. Sickles*
1917 Joseph Hendrickson*
1916 Arthur Kettle*
1915-1916
           Mortimer W. Curchin*
1914-1915 Matt Baden*
1913-1914
           Charles VanBrunt*
1911-1913 Arthur E. Smith*
1909-1911
           George Hendrickson*
1907-1909
           John V. Woodward*
1904-1907 Frank Mulvihill*

 

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SECTION: | Officers | History | Equipment |
BACK TO: | Fire Company Organization |

Fire Department Officers

The Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 is organized into five specialized units, all operating under one command structure. First and foremost of these organizations is the Fire Department itself, which responds to fires and other emergencies in Fair Haven. The Department and First Aid Squad also have mutual aid agreements with all of the surrounding boroughs, by which additional equipment and manpower can be provided for or accepted from other nearby fire and first aid units.

The Line Officers: (from left)

Chief: Tim Morrissey
Deputy Chief: Matt DePonti
1st Assistant Chief: Christopher Schrank
2nd Assistant Chief: Matthew Bufano

FHFD Fire Dept Officers

The Fire Department's Executive Officers serve both as administrative officers for the Department and the overall Fire Company.

President - John W. Felsmann
Vice President - Jim Cerruti
Recording Secretary - Raquel Falotico
Assistant Secretary - Gene Stefanelli
Financial Secretary - Pat Corbett
Assistant Financial Secretary - Tricia Brett
Treasurer - Andrew Schrank
Trustees - Robert Frank, Hal Trenton, Paul Lenskold

Fire Department Executive Board

Fire Department Executive Board

Standing, Matt DePonti, Christopher Schrank, Tim Morrissey, Matthew Bufano, Pat Corbett, Paul Lenskold, Robert Frank, Gene Stefanelli, John P. Felsmann Sr. Sitting, Tricia Brett, Andrew Schrank, Jim Cerruti, John W. Felsmann, Raquel Falotico, Hal Trenton

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History of the Fair Haven Fire Department

Around 1900, the permanent population of Fair Haven and its surrounding area was about 1,000 persons. Naturally, fire always was a concern of rural areas and Fair Haven was no exception. Fire insurance was not carried by some residents and businessmen. A disastrous fire could literally wipe out an entire life's investment and leave the victim ruined. It could be possible that a great fire involving several structures in the village could ruin the community itself. An effective fire fighting organization was what was needed if losses were to be kept to a minimum.

About ten years prior to the formation of a fire company in Fair Haven, a local Black man, William Henry Lyons, Jr., had organized a bucket brigade which included the following members: William Brown, Edward Hicks, Joseph Hicks, Frank Johnson, Herbert Johnson, and Joseph Johnson. Also C. Frederick Lyons and Mr. Woodson were part of this group who were volunteers without pay and provided their own pails. One of the fires which this group responded to was at the cigar factory of E. H. Wilber, known to residents as the "Eel Pot". This fire occurred about 1895, and the "Eel Pot" was saved by the bucket brigade's work. Another fire in the village had brigaders hastening the occupants of the burning dwelling out of the house before they could attempt to extinguish the flames. Little is known about the above brigade other than what is related here.

Fire protection by means of a bucket brigade was outmoded at the turn of the twentieth century.

The people of Fair Haven talked about the formation of a fire department for some time, and finally concentrated their efforts toward fire protection. The neighboring village of Oceanic and the town of Red Bank already had fire protection, but other parts of the township including Little Silver, East Oceanic (Rumson), and Fair Haven did not. East Side Park came under the protection of Red Bank and eventually Red Bank serviced a part of that area with the Red Bank water system.

While the talk on fire protection continued, so did numerous fires. On November 23, 1902, the stillness of an autumn Sunday night was broken by the ringing of the school bell, which was used as a fire alarm. The fire was in the kitchen of Josephine Hendrickson's house. A large crowd was attracted to the blaze which burned the dwelling and its contents to a total loss, and no insurance was carried by the unfortunate owner.

The following afternoon, sparks from a chimney set the roof of James Van Brunt's home ablaze. A few men were nearby, the women summoned help, and the fire was subsequently extinguished before much damage was done. Later that evening, Daniel Lee's roof also caught fire, supposedly from sparks emitting from a steam roller in use on River Rd. Again this blaze was put out before much harm was done, but three fires in a twenty-four hour period was too much.

The fire situation had not improved during the following months and on Saturday night, May 2, 1903, another potential disaster struck the home of L. B. Battin. With the family assisting, William Bennett and Raymond Doughty saved the dwelling. During the blaze, it seemed for a time that the house would be lost but fortunately only the roof was severely damaged.

The above patterns of fires in Fair Haven continued for awhile longer before decisive action was taken. In January, 1904, at East Side Park, the potential loss from an overturned oil lamp was averted by the quick response and work by four men who were neighbors of the homeowner. A house on Haggers Lane was a total loss despite use of a bucket brigade and hand-pumping which caused three wells to go dry.

The people of Fair Haven now finally realized that a fire company must be formed. In February, 1904 some of the leading townsmen of Fair Haven set the date of Wednesday evening, March 9, 1904 for a public meeting on the subject of fire protection and formation of a fire company. This meeting in the hall of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics on Pearl Street (now Fair Haven Rd.) was set for 8 P.M. Notice of the meeting was signed by the following: George W. Smith, J. R. Scott, A. E. Smith, R. D. Chandler, Elwood Smith, Harry Dennis, J. J. Hendrickson, H. J. Schneider, Stanley Fielder, C. D. Chandler, John W. Fielder, John L. Bennett, R. S. Merritt, E. H. Wilber, W. H. Bennett, F. R. Smith, G. H. Minton and Frank Mulvihill.

Eight of the above signers and eight other members were later listed as incorporators when the company was incorporated on June 1. The result of that March 9 meeting produced a volunteer unit that was called the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company. By March 30 the initial phase of organizing was completed, with about fifty names on the roll. The charter membership list was closed that night, and as the initiation fee was one dollar to charter members, it can be assumed that the company started its long career with about $50.00 in its coffers.

On Wednesday evening, June 1, 1904, almost three months after it was formed, the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company was issued the Certificate of Incorporation drafted by Edward W. Wise, a Commissioner of Deeds for New Jersey.

The new organization was quick to proceed with plans for the first priorities, such as fire house, equipment, funds to defray the expenditures, and membership. Frank Mulvihill, a plumber by trade, was selected as the first Fire Chief. He had been a signer of the original petition that called for the March 9 meeting, as well as later becoming one of the sixteen incorporators. Frank Mulvihill, whose term as chief lasted until July, 1907, started a family tradition as subsequently his brother, John, and nephew John Mulvihill, Jr., and his great nephew Jack Mulvihill, became chiefs in 1920, 1955, and 1989, respectively.

Little details about the actual offices and committees that were formed in the early years have been passed down to us. Quite certain the meetings were conducted by a presiding officer. Officers were to be elected at the March 30, 1904 meeting at which time it was also decided that an annual meeting should be held in July. At the first annual meeting in July, 1904, all of the officers were continued in office. Committees mentioned in those formative months of 1904 included subscriptions (seeking fund for equipment), whose report at the Monday, May 2, meeting stated that nearly $400 had been pledged towards the needed apparatus. Other committees were designated to plan the company's first ball that May, select the fire equipment, and make plans for building the new fire house.

Records indicate during the year of 1920 the fire company opened their roster to include "social membership". These men were over the acceptable age limit of active firemen. However, they perform such duties as serving on committees, hold office other than line office and serve as first aid or fire policemen. They have proven to be a valuable asset to the fire company.

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