History

It was March 29, 1898, in the old Public School Building on Main Street, that a meeting was called to order by David Outcalt. The purpose of this meeting was to organize a fire company to protect Spotswood, which, at that time was part of East Brunswick. The Borough of Spotswood was not incorporated until 1908. The Enterprise Hook & Ladder Company of Spotswood was incorporated on May 10, 1898 in order to protect life and property from fire. At that time thirty two men were elected as members. By August of that same year the membership had increased to sixty eight men.

The first firehouse in Spotswood was built at a cost of $130 and was located in the rear of Underhill and Cornell’s store on a piece of property owned by Mr. A. DeVoe. A fire alarm was donated by the South Amboy Fire Company. The first piece of fire apparatus was purchased from a Long Branch company on June 6, 1898. The cost was $56 plus $45 for repairs and alterations.

On the night of October 31, 1898, the Enterprise Hook & Ladder Company answered its first ‘alarm of fire’. The fire was located in a building owned by George Appleby near “Little Pond”. The building was of little value and the pumps were not turned on until the fire was well underway. When the water was turned on, the firemen were gratified to see that the pump was performing satisfactorily.

was purchased for $800. It was in this In 1912 the fire company purchased and installed a new bell in the tower of the was purchased for $800. It was in this firehouse. Today, this bell is a part of the building that a new firehouse was established. The building that a new firehouse was established. In 1912 the fire company purchased and installed a new bell in the tower of the firehouse. Today, this bell is a part of the Firefighters’ Memorial located in Triangle Park. 113 years later this property is still the Fire
Department’s home.

The first piece of motorized apparatus, a 1921 Ford Model “T”, was purchased by the fire company at a cost of $3,346. This truck has been restored and is our jewel in parades. In 1925, six rubber coats, six
helmets, and four pairs of boots were the first pieces of personal protective equipment were purchased.

Also that year the company bought a Ford Model “T” Chemical truck for $1,975. At the same time, pumping stations at the lake and other streams were being completed in order to obtain water to extinguish fires.

At the fire company’s annual meeting held on January 24, 1928, William McMulkin offered a resolution, “that the members of the Enterprise Hook & Ladder Company desire to come under Borough control.” A second resolution offered by Frank Vliet, “Whereas the members of the Enterprise Hook & Ladder Company have voted for in favor of Borough control, that we offer for sale, and will sell to the Borough of Spotswood, New Jersey, the firehouse and lot situated on Main Street. Also the fire apparatus, consisting of two engines, a pumper, and a chemical truck will be sold for the sum of one dollar.” This action was taken to permit the firefighters to join the New Jersey State Firemen’s Relief Association, and also prompted
the company’s name to change to the Spotswood Volunteer Fire Department. Spotswood’s Relief Association was formed on March 28, 1928 with Arthur D. Appleby serving as Relief Association was formed on March 28, 1928 with Arthur D. Appleby serving as President.
President.

Fire alarm call boxes were installed within the Borough during 1929 in order to provide a more effective method of reporting fires; this system became obsolete and fell into a state of disrepair, and was removed in 1971, by the time most fires were being received by telephone.

When a municipal water system was installed in 1935, it was then possible to install fire hydrants and mains throughout the Borough, thus eliminating the need for the old pumping stations at the lake. The following year a
Diamond “T” pumper, capable of pumping 500 gallons per minute, was added to the fleet.