In the year of 1907 Little Ferry was a typical rural community with no paved streets, sidewalks or curbs, no water supply, and a very limited electric supply. One thing did take place that summer of 1907; and this was that water mains were installed along Lodi Ave. (now Main St.),and Liberty St. The thoughts of progressive members of the Borough turned to the problem of obtaining the man-power and equipment needed to use this assured water supply for fire protection.
On the evening of December 9, 1907 Hose Co.1 was organized. A group of enthusiastic young men met at the Little Ferry Hotel, later known as Becker's Cafe and completed a temporary organization with the following officers and members: Charles Schultz Jr., Foreman; Frederick Becker, Assistant Foreman; James Van Saders, Secretary; Herman Becker, Treasurer; and members John Dvorak, August Fehrs, Robert Fehrs, J.Kucera Jr.,Otto Schultz and Chester Schopp.
The Number of members was increased to twenty five and the Organization was incorporated as Hose Company Number One of Little Ferry, N.J., on July 25,1908 the members were sworn in by Notary Jacob Vogt. On October 8,1908 the Governing Body passed an ordinance on final reading creating the Little Ferry Fire Department and approved the following as officers and members of Hose Co. Number 1, the Borough's first volunteer firemen:
Charles Schultz Jr., Foreman
Frederick Becker, Asst. Foreman
Frank Rysavy Jr, Secretary
Herman Becker, Treasurer
Henry Bergman, Emil Dannacher, John Dvorak, August Erdman, Henry Erdman, August Fehrs, Robert Fehrs, George Hendricks, John Knell, John Krejsa, Joseph Kucera Jr., Charles Lang, George Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence, Edward Lutton, Chester Schopp, Raymond Schopp, Otto Schultz, Frank Trinka, Henry Vopasek, and George Zimmerman.
A lot for the firehouse was donated by Carl Becker on the corner of Maple St. and Marshall Ave a site for the building which is still in use today. The building was dedicated on May 27, 1909.
Prior to that date the voters approved the purchase of a hose wagon and the necessary equipment at a general election in November 1908.
On April 11, 1909 the new hand drawn Woodhouse Hose Wagon was received and installed in the new firehouse. The First Alarm was a fire in the barn of Jacob Vogt Notary Public who had sworn in the members the previous year. It is also noted the brick for the building was manufactured in Little Ferry. The Borough at the turn of the century was one of the largest brick producers in the United States.
In 1910 the wagon was converted from hand drawn to horse drawn with a drop harness and hitch that was installed in the apparatus room. Various teams of horses would be used to pull the wagon. The most predominate teams came from Beckers Brewery, and the stable sign and horses names hang in the firehouse to this day.
There you have the beginning of this proud organization; many changes to the building have been made and, many members have served during the past 100 years and are still remembered on plaques bearing their names which adorn the walls of the meeting hall. They are all remembered in a Moment of Silent Prayer at the end of all Company and Department meetings. Their history and times are permanently recorded in our minutes and our memories.
There have been many apparatus used during the years:
The Company ran a carnival the week of April 29, 1918 and the proceeds were turned over the Borough towards the purchase of a motorized Simplex Engine . The reason was there were not enough horses available to pull the wagon to alarms. On May 17,1918 the new truck was ordered; but its delivery was delayed due to World War I. Finally it was delivered in June of 1919.
In 1921 the Hook and Ladder Company Number One was organized and the purchase of a 1922 American LaFrance Hook and Ladder, and a 1922 American LaFrance Engine were purchased and delivered on December 24, 1922.
Before this delivery the Simplex was no longer serviceable and a Ford truck was used until the arrival of the new engine.
In March 15,1924 the Company felt a need for an additional truck and a Larabee Speed Wagon was purchased. The body from the Simplex was placed on this and it served until 1941.
On Pearl Harbor Day December 7,1941 the Company received delivery of a Diamond-T Engine. This was the first truck equipped with a booster tank.
The 1922 American LaFrance was replaced in 1954 by a Mack 1000 GPM engine.
The 1941 Diamond-T was replaced in 1961 with a Howe 750 GPM combined with a 250 GPM third stage to provide high pressure fog. It was also the first engine to have a 500 gallon tank. This was built on an International chassis.
In 1976 a Ward Lafrance 1500 GPM engine was purchased as recommended by the insurance rating services.
In 1981 The Howe was replaced by an American LaFrance 1500 GPM engine.
During 1995 the Company received delivery of a Seagrave 1750 GPM engine with a 10 man cab.
In the fall of 2006 the Company is expected to receive a Seagrave 2000 GPM engine with a 6 man cab. This engine will replace the 1981 American LaFrance engine.
Over the years the Borough has provided equipment and the Company has supplied manpower and storage for the equipment. In addition the Firehouse was used as the Borough Hall and the Police Station; many of these years for the sum of $1.00 per year. The Company still pays the expenses of maintaining the building. We are proud of the services we provide to our citizens.