of volunteers organized on March 25, 1930 as the Fair Haven Fire
Department Emergency First Aid Squad. Their mission was to provide
aid in times of an emergency. On Monday, May 19, 1930 by vote of
the membership, the name was changed to "Fair Haven Volunteer
Fire Department Emergency Corps." The Corps was incorporated
January 1, 1932 under the fire company's charter and elected was
the first president, Thomas Cleary and the first Captain, Edward
The first ambulance of the new
unit was a white "children's hearse" bought from a northern
New Jersey undertaker for $800. On September 2, 1932 authorization
was given to purchase a used Meteor ambulance. Fifteen hundred dollars
was raised through raffles, donations, membership dues and a $500
loan from the fire company. The housing of this piece of apparatus
created another problem, however through the generosity of service
station owner Robert Cameron, it was temporarily housed in his garage.
A building committee was formed and an annex to the fire house was
completed in the fall of 1933 at the low cost of $61.12.
In 1934 the tragic burning of
the S.S. Morro Castle occurred off the New Jersey coast with the
ship being beached in Asbury Park. Fair Haven responded to the call
for assistance and received a certificate of appreciation for their
participation and help.
On May 6, 1937 the squad responded
to another disastrous tragedy when the Hindenburg exploded and burned
as it was landing at the Lakehurst, New Jersey Naval Air Station.
The ambulance and a four man crew rushed to the scene, when all
available first aid squads were summoned. Bodies were removed from
the wreckage by the aid men and placed in a hangar.
By 1939 the old ambulance was
beginning to show wear, so a committee was appointed to look into
the acquiring a new rig. In August 1939, a new LaSalle ambulance
was purchased and placed in service. By this point in time, the
men were responding to approximately 75 to 80 calls a year. As years
passed, the membership increased as did the number of calls. The
1939 LaSalle was in constant need of repair and in 1953 the president
appointed a committee to purchase another ambulance. A new 1954
Meteor was substituted for the LaSalle and like its predecessor,
had the emblem of the squad which was originally designed by member,
Abram C. Dixon.
On Tuesday evening, February 6,
1951, the fatal wreck of a Pennsylvania Railroad train at Woodbridge,
New Jersey killed 85 and injured 400 persons. Fair Haven's squad
met four trains, which arrived throughout the night, carrying injured
persons to Red Bank's Riverview Hospital.
The first aid quarters moved in
1953, along with the fire company, to the present location on River
Road and Battin Road. A new Miller Cadillac ambulance was accepted
by Councilman Russell Minton and the keys for the new vehicle presented
to first aid Captain Hubert Conover.
In 1962, the first addition to
the new fire house provided two bays, a first aid meeting room and
storage facilities for the squad. A new SWAB ambulance, Fair Haven's
first "modular box", was purchased by the squad in 1970
giving them two pieces of apparatus. Soon thereafter, a boat with
trailer was obtained to be used for water rescue. With the increased
level of training and the introduction of specialized medical equipment,
more storage space was necessary for the squad to operate efficiently.
In 1979, Fair Haven took delivery
of a new PL Custom Body modular ambulance. Fourteen years later,
while still in excellent condition, this ambulance was donated
to the town of Percival, Iowa because they had lost their only
ambulance during the 1993 Midwestern floods. Members of the Percival
Rescue Squad flew to Fair Haven to receive their gift. A small
ceremony, covered by local television and newspapers, took place
and the next day, our ambulance left for Iowa.
In December 1992, the New Jersey
coast was hit with one of the biggest Nor’easters in all of
time. What made it extra bad, was the fact that it happened on a
cold, December day, when there were already extraordinarily high
tides. The squad had first responded with an ambulance and rescue
boat to the “bayshore” area of Middletown Twp. to assist
with the evacuation of its flooded residents. Then, a call was received
by neighboring town Rumson, to help evacuate/rescue several residents
whose street was flooded with approximately 3-5 feet. Again, the
ambulance and boat responded and began removing people from the
Waterman Avenue area. Because it was in December, the emergency
responders had to wear survival suits to keep themselves warm and
dry. After everyone had been rescued, the squad then responded to
Wardell Avenue in Rumson, to also remove some residents who were
trapped. The next day, Fair Haven sent a relief crew to the Boro
of Highlands, to assist them with emergency calls. Highlands had
been one of the hardest hit towns in the area because of the flooding.
More recently, following the early
news of the disastrous attack on the World Trade Center towers on
9/11/01, Fair Haven First Aid Squad was soon dispatched as a part
of a massive Monmouth County response to assist the victims who
came by ferry from the Wall Street pier to the Highlands, NJ ferry
terminal. At this important staging area, the squad mostly treated
the "walking-wounded" victims. Some members later went
by ferry, back to New York City, to help assist further victims.
Today, the Fair Haven First Aid
Squad operates with about 30 active members, two ambulances, a
first responder unit, a heavy rescue unit and 3 boats. In 2005,
we celebrated our 75th anniversary.