Point Pleasant Fire Company #2



Fire Company #2
Ocean County Station 41
1206 Beaver Dam Road • Point Pleasant, NJ
E-mail: PTBOROFD#2@comcast.net

Fire Company #2 also known as Ocean County Station 41 is located at 1206 Beaver Dam Road. Along with Fire Company #1 they make up the Point Pleasant Fire Department. Both companies respond together to an average of three hundred (300) calls a year. While most calls are for fire alarms and minor fires in buildings, the town does experience residential fires every few months and commercial fires every few years. Since 1987, there have been 5 fire related fatalities. On the positive side two victims were rescued and taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Both have since recovered. The Department also has responded to call for assistance at motor vehicle fires, accidents, woods and brush fires, hazardous material incidents as well as providing underwater rescue and recovery with our SCUBA team.

Fire Company #2 operates 5 emergency response vehicles as well as 1 boat. Our primary response unit for fires is a 1995 Seagrave Pumper. This vehicle is equipped with a 1500 gallon per minute (GPM) pump, 500 gallon water tank, and 1500 feet of 5” hose. Supporting this unit at major fires is a 1988 Ford/Grumman Pumper. This unit provides 1250 GPM pump, 600 gallons of water, 800 feet of 5” hose, and a 50 foot ladder (telesquirt) unit. In reserve, we have a 1989 Hahn Pumper. This unit is equipped with basically the same tools as the Seagrave Pumper. A 1979 Ford Emergency One rescue truck provides transportation for our SCUBA gear, lighting equipment, and additional firefighting tools and equipment. Our Chief operates a 1997 Ford Expedition Command Unit. this unit is set up for command operations at all our calls. Our boat is a 1972 Dixie. This provides our SCUBA team the ability to respond to emergencies in the water away from land.

Fire Company #2 is manned by 30 volunteer firefighters. Command is maintained by Five Line Officers and a Safety Officer. While the firefighters and Officers receive no salary or benefits they are all trained and state certified. Members must attend Ocean County Fire Academy to receive Firefighter I training before attending any fire calls. This class requires 120 hours of attendance at training seminars as well as hands on training. Officers receive additional training in command, tactics, and strategy. Members also continue to train by attending weekly Fire Company meetings and drills every Monday night. Not only are fires extinguished, but the fire company has a joint fire safety education committee with Fire Company #1 that teaches fire prevention. This group maintains a fire safety trailer that teaches the public how to react to fire and escape. This committee has been teaching the community for several decades.

Fire Company #2 receives its revenue from 2 sources. The Fire Hose itself is operated by the Fire Company as a non-profit organization. Donations received from the public during our annual fund drive in August pay for the utility bills and other expenses. Tax deductible contributions can be mailed to our PO Box 624, Pt. Pleasant, NJ 08742. The Fire Company also receives tax dollars from the Borough to pay for apparatus, equipment and training.

HISTORY

This Fire Company started in the basement of a pool hall called “Jerry’s Spot” on Arnold Avenue on May 13, 1954 with an original group of 22 men. From December 2, 1954 through October 6, 1955, meetings were held at Bill Hirschbiegel’s Point Pleasant Oil Company (now known as Ariba Oil). Members petitioned the town to start a new Fire Company that would serve the west side of the canal. Property at 1209 Beaver Dam Road was donated on September 9, 1954 by Mr. James Woods and Mr. William Morris. On October 7, 1954 efforts were started to secure a building from the NJ Department of Conservation. On August 6, 1955 land was cleared and the foundation built. The conservation building was moved from theend of Bay Avenue to the new site. On October 20, 1955 we held our first meeting in the new building. In March 1956 the wives formed an Auxiliary with the membership of approximately 40.

The Fire Company was originally given a 1927 Maxim fire truck that was purchased and donated by Peter Ralaukus from Brielle Fire Company. A 1942 GMC military surplus truck was also acquired. The Maxim was never put in service as it failed underwriters test. The GMC was put in service at the oil company during 1955. The Fire Company’s first call was a mutual aid request by Laurelton Fire Company in Brick for a woods fire. The GMC was taken to standby at Fire Company #1 firehouse at the old town hall at Arnold and Ocean Road. After having to extinguish a small fire in their own truck they were called onto the scene.

In 1957 the Fire Company purchased the Ward LaFrance Pumper. By 1960 the Fire Company had grown and needed more space. An addition was added to the west side of the original building with three truck bays and a hall. The old firehouse was converted into a meeting room. During 1961 a fire destroyed the bowling alley on HWY 88 and Maxson Road. In 1964 the Fire Company took delivery of a Ford /H & H 750 GPM Pumper. The truck was built by H & H Fire Apparatus Company of Jersey City under the direction of Fred Heim who resided on River Road in town. In 1967 a Dodge mini Pumper was purchased from PL custom body. This truck was found to be impractical and was replaced in 1970 with a Hahn Pumper. This Pumper was the first diesel powered fire engine in town. The Point Boro First Aid was formed in 1968 by several members of Fire Company #2.

On September 11, 1972 ground was broken at 1206 Beaver Dam Road across the street for a new fire house. The apparatus and meeting rooms were moved into the new building. The 1960 addition was completely converted into a hall and the original sections were torn down. During the 1960’s, 70’s and 1980’s , the Fire Company was financially independent due to the hard work of its members. Fund raising events were held regularly. Bingo games, held every Thursday provided enough income for the Fire Company to purchase and maintain all of its own equipment. Also during 1972 a woman lost her life in a house fire on Florence Avenue, now Clifton Avenue.

In 1977 the Fire Company outfitted a 1957 REO Military surplus unit for Forest Fire fighting. This truck was dedicated to Chris Carter an active member of Fire Company who lost his life in an automobile accident. There was still some areas of undeveloped woodlands on the west side of town. Ocean County continued to experience large forest fires and Fire Company #2 was there to help. The worst of these fires included the April 22, 1963 and the April 4, 1995 fires, that burned in many towns. The brush truck was very busy from 1977 until it was given to Lanoka Harbor Fire Company in 1989.

Mutual Aid to out of town Fire Companies has taken our firefighters to some spectacular blazes since its inception. These include the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk fire of 1967, 1975 and 1989. Also Lakewood had a rash of Hotel fires including the June 1967 Laural In the Pines Hotel. In Brick we have provided assistance at many commercial fires including the September 11, 1989 Woodhaven Lumber fire that holds the record of 37 Mutual Aid companies operating together at a structure fire in Ocean County. Across the Manasquan River the fire company traveled to the Collingwood Auction in Howell Township on September 1, 1992 on of Monmouth Counties largest firefighting efforts.

In 1979 the fire company celebrated its 25th Anniversary with the purchase of a GMC/E-ONE Pumper and Chevy Suburban Chiefs car, that was replaced in 1987 with a Chevy Caprice. These were the last major apparatus purchases from fund raising efforts. In 1983 they said it was “Over the Hill” but the 1950 MACK Ladder Truck that had served Fire Company #1 since 1972 was kept in reserve at Fire Company #2.

The fall of 1988 and spring of 1989 would result in 2 more fatalities striking senior citizen on Florence Avenue (again) and Shore Boulevard. On August 15, 1989 a Hahn Pumper was delivered, a cooperative effort between the town and the Fire Company. Apparatus had become to expensive to purchase with fund raising. The Bingo Hall was put for sale as games became unprofitable. On November 10, 1989 the fire companies were requested at the famous Ocean Bay Diner (OB Diner) at Hwy 88 and 35. The fire quickly spread from the kitchen ceiling to the dining area. Chief William Dikun summoned plenty of mutual aid. Something uncommon since the bowling alley fire in 1961. 1989 was very active year, but the transition into the 90’s was necessary.

In January 1990 a Ford Grumman Pumper equipped with 50 foot ladder replaced the 1950 Mack. On February 22, 1992 the Fire Department rescued a man from the 2nd floor apartment at 2400 Lakewood Road. He was taken to Point Pleasant Hospital and recovered. Assistant Chief Gary Moberg, Ex-Chief Kevin McLaughlin and firefighters Todd Sutphen and John Bruns were awarded life saving medals at our annual dinner in 1993. Also cited were Bruce Sutphen and Jim Ivans for their work with fire prevention. Mike Ormsby was also awarded. Two commercial fires at the Village Inn on February 21, 1994 and at an office building at 2911 HWY 88 on August 22, 1995 gave fire officers the opportunity to use their skills learned from the OB Diner fire.

In 1996 the Fire Company would again be taxed, but in different ways from 1989. The beginning of the year started with the arrival of our new Seagrave Pumper, which replaced the 1970 Hahn. On April 19, 1996 the fire companies were summoned to the Memorial School for a fire alarm. Chief Mark Byrne of Fire Company #1 arrived and located a smoke condition on the second floor. The 1989 Hahn Pumper arrived and parked on Panther Path and Laura Herbert Drive. Company #1’s 82 Sutphen Tower attempted to pass the Hahn and turned left. The rear platform struck the cab and tilted it forward, injuring Assistant Chief John Rowe and Captain Todd Sutphen. Two weeks later, on May 9, 1996, firefighters were summoned from their beds for a house fire at 2209 Mahoney Drive. A mother and her son were quickly recovered from the burning building but they were unable to be revived. Later that year, on December 15, 1996, the fire companies responded to neighboring Hastings Lane to rescue Dr. Joseph Jurkoic from his burning house. Dr. Jurkoic was medivac’ed to the burn center and survived.

During 1997 the Fire Company purchased a Ford Expedition to replace the, 1987 Chevy Caprice, Chief’s car. In October the Fire Department was cited by the Ocean County Fire Marshall’s office for its valiant efforts at the calls in 1996. Firefighters Michael Ormsby and Michael Stencel were awarded combat medals for their efforts to rescue the victims on Mahoney drive. Captain Todd Sutphen, Lt. John Bruns and Ex-Chiefs William Knecht and Michael Burke (of Company #1) were awarded life saving medals for the rescue of Dr. Jurkoic.


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