Riverside “Unveils” New Truck
Riverside Fire Company No. 1, Riverside. N. J., like many other progressive fire units, has found that acquisition of new, up-to-the-minute fire apparatus and equipment gives a lift to the entire fire department—as weil as to the community it serves.
Last year the vamps of Riverside celebrated with much much eclat the arrival of a new 75 foot Seagrave allmetal aerial ladder and a spic span new Seagrave 750 GPM pumper. The dedication ceremonies came on the 57th anniversary of the founding of the Riverside Fire Company and the entire community participated in the celebration, with parades, and all the panoply the populace and proud firemen could put forth.
But acquisition of new apparatus isn’t sufficient for the good vamps of Riverside. For some time the lads have been aware that their headquarters, built in 1927 on W. Scott street, as spacious as it is, lacked recreational facilities whereby the active members and the exempts, which still cherish a fervid interest in their old organization, could foregather and “bat the breeze.” Therefore an additional room was built onto the fire station which is reserved for “firemen only.” Here will be found “old timers” as well as the newest recruits, fighting over the old fires—and “on the button” for the next call.
It is said, this idea of providing recreational facilities for the exempts has resulted in more personnel being on hand to answer alarms.
Riverside Fire Company was founded 75 years ago. Its first fire equipment was a hand drawn hook and ladder, costing $450 bought in 1892. That year a chemical engine was added. In 1895 the company was assigned to protect the 19th school district, including the nearby towns of Delanco, Riverton, Bridgeboro. Beverly and other outlying communities.
The company officially answered its first alarm April 20, 1893.
In 1894 a four-wheel hose cart was purchased and in 1895 ground for a new firehouse was bought. The new house was completed in 1898 and the company was really making headway.
In 1902 a new steamer was secured, giving the company three units. Following a disastrous fire in 1913 the company purchased its first motor driven chemical and hose truck on April 7, 1914. This remained in service 18 years.
Need of more modern equipment spurred the organization to acquire its first motor driven pumper in 1917— a Seagrave. This was followed by a Seagrave city service ladder truck in 1920. ending, the reign of the horses in the department.
During World War I the Company lost many of its active members to the armed forces and, like other departments. fire fighting was done by a small but determined group of men. some of them previously “retired.” After the war the Company was recreated and grew steadily until it needed a new firehouse. which was completed in 1927. In 1931 a new Chevrolet chassis was secured and the old Lippard-Stewart chemical truck rebuilt on it. In 1940 a Seagrave 600 GPM pumper was proudly added to the Company, giving it four pieces of apparatus.
World War II saw a repetition of World War I, with many active members leaving to join the armed forces. Again the organization carried on witn depleted ranks. At the end of the war in 1947, a 750 GPM Seagrave pumper was secured to replace the 30-year-old veteran pumper and in May 1949 the members realized their greatest ambition with the acquisition of the 75-foot hydraulic aerial, also of Seagrave make.