West Caldwell Fire Dept. Will Mark 100 Years With New Firehouse
A look at the almost completed firehouse renovations.
A renovation and expansion of the West Caldwell Fire Department firehouse began last spring and is expected to be completed in time for the WCFD's 100th anniversary celebration later this year.
West Caldwell Fire Chief Jim Alvine said this week the $2.5 million project is scheduled to be done by June 1.
Alvine said the updated firehouse will provide a safer environment for the department's nearly 60 members.
"We had a firehouse that was built in 1969 for three trucks," Alvine said. "Now we have six trucks. We had guys donning their gear on the floor while the trucks were going out. It was dangerous."
Alvine showed Patch around the firehouse, which includes a "locker" area for firefighters to store their uniforms and get dressed out of the way of the trucks. The department's six trucks, including the new mini-pumper, have the option to exit through three front and three rear bays.
The front of the firehouse still needs to be bricked and front bay doors need to be installed. Plus, the inside is not yet finished.
The community will be invited to check out the completed firehouse on Saturday, Sept. 22, when a big 100th anniversary celebration is planned from 3 to 9 p.m.
There will be food, music and activities, according to John Medina, the township's Fire Official/Fire Subcode Offical and a member of the WCFD.
Medina said commemorative mugs and t-shirts will be available for sale at the celebration which will be open to the community and firefighters from surrounding towns.
Firefighters and their families will be invited to an ice cream social on August 5, the date the department was incorporated in 1912. The WCFD is also planning a mass at West Caldwell Presbyterian Church the Sunday before Veterans Day to honor deceased members.
The West Caldwell Fire Dept. received 435 calls in 2011.
"We've had our share of working fires," Chief Alvine said.
Follow the WCFD on its Facebook page or on Twitter at @WestCaldwellFD.