PHOTOS: Firefighters Mark 100th Anniversary of West Caldwell Fire Department
West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department incorporated on August 5, 1912.
The West Caldwell Fire Department was incorporated on August 5, 1912 when ten members signed the required incorporation papers and the requisite $6 fee was paid. The township of West Caldwell had only been incorporated eight years earlier.
On Sunday, past and present members gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of the volunteer fire department with an ice cream social.
The Founder's Day celebration began with the first official meeting held in the Fairfield Avenue firehouse after it recently underwent a $2.5 million renovation and expansion.
West Caldwell Fire Department Chaplain Bob Brenneck, a 26-year member, gave a blessing. Names of the founding members were read aloud.
After official business was conducted, members and their guests were treated to ice cream and cake, posed for pictures and checked out the shiny new headquarters. Among the highlights are a donning room for firefighters to put on their gear, ample space for all six firetrucks and a renovated meeting room.
Jeff Mostwill, the longest-serving member of the department, with 50 years of service, was present with his wife, Maureen and other family members.
Mostwill said he remembers driving the 1928 firetruck—now displayed in a window-lined room—to fires when he first joined the department in 1962. He said the WCFD had two trucks at the time and the antique truck was used as a backup.
Also present was Jerry Cole, who has served on the department for 43 years.
Cole called the firehouse "beautiful."
"We really thank the town," he said.
The WCFD currently has about 60 members.
A community-wide 100th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 3 to 9 p.m., at West Caldwell Fire Headquarters.
—Read about West Caldwell firefighter U.S. Army Private Matt O'Hern, who was recently deployed to Afghanistan.