Camden Fire Department
Local 788
International Association
of Fire Fighters

FIRE WATCH MAGAZINE
1997


Members of the Camden Fire Department over the years been represented by different union and fraternal organizations, including the International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Brotherhood of Professional Fire Fighters, the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, and the Society of Camden Latino Fire Fighters. 

Local 788 also published FIRE WATCH MAGAZINE in the 1990s, which detailed the activities of the Department in its annual issues. With photo and articles by Bob Bartosz, Joel Bain, Frank Saia and others, the magazines are a real treasure. It is an honor to be able to present these accounts of the activities of Camden's fire fighters here, and I hope to be able to reproduce several issues on the website in time. 

If you can identify anyone not named in the photos on the website, or if would like to see other images or stories posted, please e-mail me.

Phil Cohen
Camden NJ 


UNDER CONSTRUCTION
as of August 4, 2005


Click on Images to Enlarge

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Camden Fire Department
 Personnel Roster

Administration

Chief of Department - Kenneth L. Penn 2-1-66 
Deputy Chief - Personnel Francis K. Stinger 12-16-74
Deputy Chief - Operations B. James Nash 12-31-74

Administrative Staff

Executive Officer - Battalion Chief Joseph Marini 5-21-76
Firefighter Ronald A. Marcianna 9-5-73

Secretarial Staff

Antionette Smith * Lorraine Bumbrey * Blanca Aponte

Training Academy

Principal Training Officer - Captain Paul C. Speas 12-10-76
Assistant Training Officer - Captain Michael Harper 3-2-87

Office of the Fire Marshal

Chief Fire Marshal - Herbert C. Leary 8-2-65
Ass't Chief Fire Marshal- Stephen R. Bird 12-16-74
Fire Inspector - Parris R. Branch 7-15-68
Fire Inspector - Antonio S. Gonzales 2-6-85
Fire Inspector - Lewis Edwards 5-9-94

Fire Apparatus Motor Maintenance Division

Chief Apparatus Officer - George Kifferly 6-12-70
Mechanic - Allen Kozuhowski *** Mechanic - Edward Mozdzen

Mechanic - Keith Smith

Fire Department Maintenance

Gary Still * Vincente Maldonado

5

 
 

Suppression Force
Battalion Chiefs (13)

Robert A. Basile 

May 1, 1969 

Anthony D. Moffa 

Aug. 15, 1961 
George H. Durar 

Dec. 16, 1974 

Paul F. Price

Dec. 10, 1976 
Joseph J. Gallagher 

Dec. 16, 1974 

Joseph N. Rotchford 

July 15, 1968 
Joseph R. Gfrorer 

Apr. 21, 1961

Stephen Sklar

Dec. 31, 1969 
Kevin C. Hailey  Apr. 5, 1982  Philip C. Stinger  Dec. 16, 1974 
George C. Kurtyan  Feb. 1, 1966  Robert J. Zieniuk Dec. 16, 1974
Joseph A. Marini May 21, 1976

Captains (53)

James R. Alexander 

Oct. 6, 1975 

Paul S. Matyjasik 

Dec. 10, 1976 

Vincent J. Ardire 

Sept. 5, 1973  Charles E. Mayo 

Nov. 29, 1968 

William A. Barnhill 

Dec. 16, 1974  Michael W. McCarthy 

Dec. 10, 1987 

Roland F. Bock

Sept. 5, 1973  Gregory L. Murphy 

May 31,1977 

Paul A. Capizola 

Dec. 16,1974  Martin M. Murray  Dec. 15, 1974 

Richard D. Carver 

Dec. 15, 1974  William G. O'Dennis  Mar. 16, 1966 

Terrance A. Crowder 

June 6, 1983  Dennis Penn  Sept. 5, 1973 

Darryl J. Davis 

Dec. 16, 1987  Thomas M. Pavlow  Nov. 3,1969 

Michael B. DiPascale 

Dec. 16, 1987  Anthony R. Phleps  Dec. 16, 1987 

Robert E. Dowhy 

Apr. 5, 1982  Thomas J. Quinn  Mar. 2,1987 

Jeffery W. Dux

Oct. 6, 1975  Ralph A. Roberts  June 17, 1982 

Paul J. Escher

Dec. 16, 1974  Daniel W. Rossi  Aug. 25, 1986 

Robert W. Frett 

Nov. 10, 1967  David W. Sanders  Nov. 23, 1964 

Duane Goobic 

Nov. 7, 1977  Raynaldo Santiago  Apr. 5, 1982 

Michael L. Harper 

Mar. 2, 1987  Robert L. Scarduzio  Aug. 5,1973 

John W. Heritage

Dec. 16, 1974  William G. Schumacher  Dec. 16, 1974 

James M. Hillman 

Oct. 16, 1975  Thomas Stammerjohann  Jan. 15, 1963 

James W. Johnston 

Apr. 5,1982  George S. Szychulski  Nov. 8, 1968 

Donald C. Kelly 

Nov. 7, 1977  Richard J. Tate  Nov. 3, 1969 

Mark J. Kogut

Nov. 16, 1981  George C. Tips  Dec. 16, 1974 
Daniel Laskowski  Dec. 16, 1974  Stanley E. Trezbuniak  Oct. 6, 1975
Joseph A. Lesniewski  Apr. 2,1974  Hugh J. Vogel   May 27,1968 
Daryl O. Lewison  Apr. 5, 1982  Larry Wilson  Nov. 23, 1981 
Anthony Logandro  Dec. 31, 1974  Maurice Wilson  Apr. 5,1982 
Richard M. Mamin  May 16,1975  Anthony C. Winters  May 1, 1969 
Richard B. Marter Jan. 5, 1968 Joseph E. Wooden  Mar. 2, 1987 
David A. Yates Nov. 4,1985

6


Fire Fighters (140)

Igmar O. Alejandro

Jan. 21, 1991 

Bryan Emenecker

Feb. 3, 1997 

Robert R. Allen Feb. 3, 1997  Warren R. Everett  Dec. 16, 1987 
Ronald Angemi Nov. 8, 1968 Curtis W. Farmer Aug. 26, 1986
Joseph Ante Sept. 5, 1973 Jay A. Fayer Jan. 21, 1991 
Charles R. Arline Dec. 16, 1987 Francisco Feliciano  Feb. 6, 1986 
Alfred C. Ashley III Jan. 21, 1991  Agripino Figueroa  Feb. 3, 1997 
Raul Aviles Dec. 16, 1987  Linwood Fisher Jan. 5, 1968 
Joel R. Bain Nov. 3,1969  Jesse N. Flax May 9, 1994
William W. Bain, Jr.  May 9,1994 Charles D. Forker  Dec. 16, 1987 
Daniel J. Baker Apr. 5,1995  Jerise S. Garten, Jr.  Sept. 22, 1981 
Tyrone E. Baker May 9,1994  Charles E. Gibson May 9,1973
Theodore Balabuch  May 9,1994  Robert G. Gibson Nov. 30, 1969 
Samuel Balakas Apr. 5,1982  Edward R. Glassman  Jan. 21, 1991 
Kevin L. Baylor Feb. 3, 1997  Phillip I. Gorski Dec. 16, 1987 
Jose L. Berrios Nov. 8,1968  John T. Gryckiewicz  Jan. 19, 1968 
Ronald J. Boyle Feb. 3, 1997 Richard E. Hand Dec. 16, 1974
Johnnie Broadwater  Jan. 21, 1991  Mark E. Harper May 9,1994 
Lawrence T. Buckingham Feb. 6, 1985  Paul K. Harris Feb. 3, 1997 
Carlos R. Burgos Nov. 23, 1981  David Hicks May 9, 1994 
George A. Candia Feb. 3, 1997 John R. Homer Sept. 5, 1973
Shane Carr Dec. 16, 1987  Richard L. Janice Nov. 16, 1956 
Rodney L. Carter Jan. 21, 1991  Donald R. Jankiewicz  July 15, 1968 
Kenneth J. Chambers  Sept. 5, 1973  Robert S. Jeminey  May 9,1994 
Russell H. Chandler May 9,1994 Donald G. Johnson  Feb. 3, 1987 
John T. Church Feb. 3, 1997 Howard R. Jones  May 9,1994 
Edwin Cintron Feb. 3, 1997 Ralph R. Jones June 6, 1983 
Gilbert Colon Jr. Feb. 3, 1997 Barry D. Kellem  May 9,1994
Nathaniel Cox Nov. 29, 1968 Steven R. Kinky  Jan. 21, 1991 
Ronald C. Crowder Apr. 7, 1977 Adelbert J. Kirk, Jr.  Jan. 19, 1968 
Joseph E. Cunningham   Apr. 5,1982 Michael E. Labar Feb. 3, 1997
Charles L. Davis May 27,1968 Kenneth D. Lewis Feb. 3, 1997 
Dennis P. Deal May 9,1994    Arthur Longo  May 9,1994
Angelo V. DeCaro  May 9,1994 Roberto Lopez  Feb. 3, 1997 
 Gregory P. Depetris  May 9,1994 Gary B. Lyons   Feb. 3, 1997
 Donald R. Detwiler Sept. 5, 1973 Andrew L. Magee   Apr. 5,1995
David A. Dilks Jan. 21, 1991 Ronald A. Marcianna   Sept. 5, 1973 
Joseph R. DePaolo  May 9,1994 John M. Maroldo  Nov. 3, 1969 
Stephen J. Dipompo Apr. 7,1977 Manuel A. Martinez  Jan. 21, 1991
 William S. Dipompo Sept. 5, 1973   Richard Martinez  Jan. 21, 1991
 Dwayne J. Dixon Feb. 3, 1997 Javier Matos Feb. 3, 1997

7


Fire Fighters (continued)

Arnaldo Medina Jr.

May 9,1994 

James G. Ryan

Nov. 4,1991 

Jose L. Melendez  May 9,1994  Frank J. Saia Jan. 21, 1991 
Ramon Melendez  Jan. 21, 1991  Frank J. Sandrock  May 9,1994 
Efigenio Mercado Feb. 3, 1997  Ernest M. Santone, Jr.  Nov. 3,1969 
John S. Merklein  Jan. 21, 1991  Steven Serrano  Jan. 21, 1991
Rudolph A. Mickles  May 9,1994 Abraham Smalls Nov. 23, 1987 
Tyrone Miles  Feb. 3, 1997  Larry F. Smith Dec. 16, 1987 
Thomas M. Minchin  Jan. 21, 1997 Julius A. Snyder May 9,1994 
Angel Molina Jan. 21, 1997  Craig A. Spearman  Jan. 21, 1991 
Glen H. Moore  Nov. 8,1968  Michael J. Speck  Dec. 16, 1974
Marcos G. Muniz  May 9,1994  Frederick G. Spreng  Dec. 16, 1974
David Munoz Feb. 3, 1997  Lamont Steagall  Jan. 21, 1991 
Howard P. Murphy  Jan. 12, 1968  David A. Still Apr. 5, 1995 
Edward F. Murtaugh  Dec. 16,1974 Shane B. Streater Feb. 3, 1997 
Daniel R. Neiling  Feb. 3, 1997  Frank Thompson  Feb. 3, 1997 
Ernest A. Newkirk  Nov. 10, 1967 Joseph Tull Feb. 3, 1997 
Andres Nieves  Feb. 3, 1997  William L. Turner Jr. Feb. 3, 1997 
Orlando Nunez  Feb. 3, 1997  Luis Vera Feb. 6, 1985 
Mario D. Patrizi  Nov. 3,1969  Braulio Villegas Feb. 3, 1997 
Daniel C. Payne  May 9,1994  John J. Vincent Sr.  May 9,1994
Lacy S. Phelps, Jr.  Jan. 21, 1991  Michael P. Waters  May 9,1994
Lacy S. Phelps, Sr.  Aug. 15, 1961 Russell V. Watkins  Nov. 16, 1981 
Andrew P. Pinkston  May 8,1989  Jerome J. Watson  Nov. 8,1968 
Robert Prado Jan. 21, 1991  King S. Whitfield  Feb. 3, 1997 
Miguel Ramos  Feb. 3, 1997  George B. Wilson  Apr. 5,1982
George A. Reese  May 5,1982 Robert C. Worrell Dec. 30, 1969 
Larry E. Reese Jan. 21,1991  Ronald F. Wrobel  Feb. 3, 1987 
Gamalier Rivera  Feb. 3, 1997  Henry A. Yip  June 12, 1970
Ovidio F. Rodriguez  Feb. 3, 1997  George K. Young   Apr. 5, 1982 
Javier A. Roman Jan. 21, 1991 Luis A. Zayas  Feb. 3, 1997

8


Salute to Retirees

Assistant Chief Fire Marshal

John Mills       5/27/68

Battalion Chiefs

William D. Hillman

10-01-63
Robert M. Lapp  11-29-68 
Phillip A. Maycott  6-29-62
Walter J. Szatkowski  11-10-67

Captains

Joseph A. Broccoli 5-27-68  William H. Heulas 

11-08-68

Thomas F. Broccoli 3-16-66 Richard F. Johnson  11-29-68 
 Roger A. Buck  5-01-69  Ronald C. Kowalski  7-15-68 

Peter P. Carbone 

1-29-68  Patrick M. O'Keefe  1-19-68 
George Dixon 3-16-58  James T. Robinson 8-28-62 
Dennis M. Dowhy  5-27-68  Robert B. Shaw  2-01-66 
Anthony P. Dowidowicz  5-01-69  Robert C. Welch 11-08-68
Albert R. Frampton 4-24-67

Office of the Fire Marshal

Fire Inspector William H. Colucci 

11-03-69

Fire Inspector Robert W. Frymoyoer 

8-26-68

Fire Inspector Michael F. Smarrito 

11-03-69

Firefighters

Robert R. Allen

 7-15-68 

Arthur J. Gibson

11-29-68

Lloyd G. Birdsong 

 1-03-69

Ronald Gorski

10-01-69

Ronald N. Bowers 

 6-29-62

Ernest S. Gribaudo 

10-03-69

Michael D. Carpenter 

11-03-69

Donald R. Harrison 

11-10-67

Dent E. Crymes 

12-30-69

Leon J. Johnson

 1-03-69

Michael J. Deets 

 7-15-68

John E. Maher

11-03-69

Robert B. DeFord 

11-10-67

Frank E. McGuckin 

 5-27-68

James L. Devine 

 1-12-68

Raymond Murphy 

11-03-69

Gaetano J. DiPatri 

 1-12-68

Edward W. Ollek 

11-03-69

Joseph Dowhy 

 5-27-68

Charles R. Simone 

 1-03-69

Thomas H. Eckel 

11-29-68

William A. Wickward 

11-03-69

Michael Galasso

11-03-69

Robert J. Williams

 5-27-68

9


Fire Rescue 1
by Bob Bartosz

Camden NJ Fire Rescue has the reputation of being one of the busiest in the City, answering all building fires and miscellaneous HazMat operations and rescue calls. On April 14, 1997, Rescue 1 started their routine day going to work on a one alarm dwelling fire in the morning just after the noon day lunch they were called for a working building fire in a two story vacant in the East Camden section of the City. After 45 minutes of duty they were then dispatched to a dwelling fire in the South Camden section, this turned out to be a small kitchen fire that Rescue 1 quickly handled.

As Rescue 1 was returned to their quarters, the tone alarms went out for Engine Company 10, Rescue 1, and Battalion 3 (Chief Joe Gallagher) for a call to assist Police on the 1300 block of Fairview Street. When the Companies arrived they found two car loads of Police Officers trying to get into a parked car that was locked. Inside the car was a one year old little girl who was accidentally locked in the car by her mother. After persistent efforts the police were unable to gain access and Rescue 1 was called.

After several different methods were attempted, the old unbent coat hanger method proved to be the best. Fire Fighters Joel Bain and Eddie Glassman were able to release the door lock with the coat hanger.

The rescue operation consisted of 9 fire fighters, 6 police officers and a crowd of 30 onlookers. All were relieved when the door was finally opened, one year old Alexus Lindsey sat patiently smiling in her car seat. Fire Fighter Jesse Flax was more than happy to lean in and remove her from the car seat.

Just another day for Rescue 1.

Members of Camden NJ Rescue 1, work to free a one year old baby locked in a parked car in the 1300 block of Fairview Street in the South Camden section of the City.

Camden Fire Fighter Jesse Flax, with one year old Alexus Lindsey after being safely removed from her brief entrapment. Fire Fighter Eddie Glassman shown to the left.

Photos by Bob Bartosz

10


 

Fire Fighters from all over came to participate in the annual 1997 Ski Race to benefit the area burn centers. Pictured L-R Angelo Decaro, John Merklein, Joe Wooden, Mike Speck and Jay Fayer.

photo provided by Jay Fayer

Camden City Fire Fighters Raised $5000.00 for the ''Toys For Tots," program. The money raised was donated to city children organiza­tions to aid children for the christmas holiday.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Engine Co. #8 is seen here operating at 433 Kaighn Avenue on Feb. 14, 1974. Engine 8 members are probably wondering where to start picking up.

photo by Bob Bartosz

*

June 14, 1952 
Box 15 was struck for Front
& Pearl Streets at the David Baird Lumberyard. The fire was held to a first alarm by Engines 6, 2, and 1, Ladder 1 and Battalion 1.

11



Camden Fire Department

Unit Locations 

Fire Administration Building 
Engine Company 1.  

Engine Company 6
Ladder Company 1
Battalion 1

3rd & Federal Street

 

Heavy Rescue Company 
Rescue Company 1
617 Kaighns Avenue

East Camden 
Ladder Company 9
Ladder Company 3
Battalion 2  

27th & Federal Street
Cramer Hill 
Engine Company 11  
27th & Hayes Avenur

Whitman Park 
Engine Company 7    

1115 Kaighns Avenue 

Liberty Station 
Ladder Company 3. 
Ladder Company 2
Battalion 3  

Broadway 
&
Liberty Street

Morgan Village and Fairview
Engine Company 3
Engine Company 10. 
9th Street
&
Morgan Boulevard  
Fire Boat 1 Delaware River, 
Foot of Mickle Boulevard 
Water Front Park
 

On March 3rd 1970 a multiple alarm fire raced through The General Radio Company located at 6th and Penn Streets. A sudden and without warning collapse trapped a number of fire fighters operating inside. An injured Phillip Maycott is seen here being loaded into a waiting ambulance after being rescued.

photo provided by Bob Bartosz

13


Click On Image
for Enlarged View

New Jersey's Busiest Fire Department

The Camden Fire Department consists of eight engine companies, three ladder companies, one heavy rescue company, one Fire Boat, and is divided into three battalions. The City of Camden is approximately ] 0 square miles with a day-time population of approximately 95,000. A full first alarm assignment consists of three engine companies, one ladder company, the heavy rescue, and one battalion chief. A high-hazard response (which would include schools, hospitals, and high-rise buildings) consists of three engines, two ladders, the rescue, and two battalion chiefs. Most fire alarm activations will receive one engine, one ladder, and one battalion chief. Motor vehicle accident responses receive one engine, one rescue, and one battalion chief. A motor vehicle acci­dent on a divided highway receives an additional engine company to cover the opposite side of the roadway and an accident on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge would receive a ladder company in addition to a divided highway response. Fires such as autos, trash, dumpsters, and grass receive a dispatch of one engine company. Public assists, police or EMS assists are just a few service assign­ments thalt receive usually a single ladder company response.

The Camden Fire Department is the busiest fire department in New Jersey per capita and is ranked the third busiest in total vol­ume trailing only Newark and Jersey City which are more than twice the size of Camden. The Uniformed Fire Suppression Force of the Camden Fire Department works a 42 hour work week in which each member works a 24 hour continuous tour of duty then receiving 72 hours off duty. Their shift starts at 0700 hours each morning. Each apparatus in every firehouse is staffed with a fire captain and three firefighters 24 hours a day every day of the year without exception. All alarms of fire are received over the Department fire radio which is transmitted from the Camden County Fire Communications Center in Lindenwold, NJ on a VHF frequency of 153.770 mHz.

  Company run totals for 1995 and 1996

 

1995

1996

 

1995

1996

Engine 1

991

906

Ladder 1

955

815

Engine 3

461

449

Ladder 2

1306

1164

Engine 6

1078

1021

Ladder 3

981

919

Engine 7

1631

1456

Rescue 1

1659

1550

Engine 8

999

1052

Fireboat 1

 

9

Engine 9

1430

1453

Battalion 1

936

907

Engine 10

668

601

Battalion 2

988

905

Engine 11

783

842

Battalion 3

1380

1138

First arriving companies found heavy fire conditions with extreme exposure problems. This fire at 7th & Mt. Vernon Streets raced to three alarms on May 15th, 1997.

photo provided by P Grey

15



1st Battalion

Engine Co. #1 operates a 1986 Hahn, with a 1500 GPM pump and 500 G.w.T.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Engine Co. #6 operates a 1991 American LaFrance/PemFAB, with a 1750 GPM pump and 500 G.w.T.

photo provided by Frank Saia 

Tower Ladder #1 operates a 1992 Sutphen 100 foot Tower Ladder

photo provided by Frank Saia

Rescue Co. #1 operates a 1992 Ford L-8000 with a 18 foot Saulsbury walk-in box.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Battalion 1's 
1992 Ford Bronco.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Companies found heavy fire upon arrival with reports of people trapped. Fire Fighters also had to deal with higher than usual summer heat and humidity in order to control this 3-alarm fire on North 8th Street.

December 29, 1994, a 6-alarm church fire in the 400 block of Benson Street. Seen here, Tower Engine 9 and Tower Ladder 1 operating in the front of the church.

photo provided by Bob Bartosz 


16



2nd Battalion

Engine Co. #7 operates a 1991 American LaFrance/PemFAB, with a 1750 GPM pump and 500 G.w.T.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Tower Engine Co. #9 operates a 1991 American LaFrance/PemFAB and a 50' Tele-squirt with a ] 750 GPM pump and 500 G.WT.

photo provided by Joel Bain 

Engine Co. #11 operates a 1986 Hahn, with a 1500 GPM pump and 500 G.WT.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Tower Ladder Co. #3 operates a 1983 Mack C.F./Baker 75' Aerialscope.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Battalion 2's 
1992 Ford Bronco.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Feb. 19, 1996, heavy fire flashes from under the roof area of a day care center at North 27th & Arthur Streets. This blaze ended up going to 3 alarms.

photo provided by Joel Bain

May 25, 1996, fire fighters Robert Dowhy (left) and Robert Worrell (right) are preparing to go in service with master streams from Tower Ladder #3 at a 3 alarm fire at South 24th Street.

photo provided by Joel Bain 


17



3rd Battalion

Engine Co. #3 operates a 1986 Hahn, with a 1500 GPM pump and 500 GWT.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Tower Engine Co. #8 operates a 1991 American LaFrance/PemFAB and a 50' Tele-squirt with a 1750 GPM pump and 500 G.w.T.

photo provided by Frank Saia 

Engine Co. #10 operates a 1986 Hahn, with a 1500 GPM pump and 500 G.WT.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Ladder Co. #2 operates a 1986 Hahn 106' Fire Spire Tiller Ladder.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Battalion 2's 
1992 Ford Bronco.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Heavy smoke obscures the early morning sky as fire engulfs seven homes and a number of cars on the 1200 block of Morton street on Dec. 28, 1995.

photo provided by Joel Bain

18



Fire Boat 1

photo provided by Bob Bartosz 

In 1994 The Camden Fire Department acquired a former U.S. Coast Guard "Port and Waterways Boat" (PWB). This boat went through a massive engine rebuild by the fire department apparatus shop and repainted locally by Tiedeken Brothers in South Camden. The pilot house was totally redone by fire department personnel normally assigned to Engine Co. 1.

Rather than assigning a U.S. Coast Guard number, the boat was given the name of William Ables to honor the first fire chief of Camden Fire Department.

The William Ables measures 33' and 4" with a beam of 11' and 9". It is powered by two 250 hp Caterpillar 3208 diesel engines. A third engine, a 371 Detroit Diesel, is used to power a 500 G.P.M. Fire pump. The William Ables is capable of speeds up to 20 knots (approximately 22 MPH).

19



Reserve Apparatus

Reserve Engine Co. #20 operates a 1986 Hahn with a 1500 GPM Pump and a 500 G.w.T.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Reserve Engine Co. #27 operates a 1986 Hahn with a 1500 GPM Pump and a 500 G.w.T.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Reserve Engine Co. #21 operates a 1977 Pierce / Hendrickson with a 54' squirt, 1000 GPM Pump and a 300 G.w.T.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Reserve Engine Co. #21 operates a 1976 Pierce/Hendrickson with a 1000 GPM Pump and a 500 G.W.T. This unit was converted into a Reserve Rescue by ED. Apparatus Shop.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Reserve Ladder Co. #22 operates a 1994 Freightliner FL-80 4 door cab with a 1976 Maxim 85' Tiller Ladder.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Reserve Snorkel Co. #21 operates a 1977 Pierce / Hendrickson with a 85' snorkel.

photo provided by Frank Saia

20



Camden City Fire Department
Apparatus Shop


Apparatus Shop Logo

1992 Ford F-250

1985 Ford Bronco

Allen Kozuhowski replacing the window on Rescue 1 Allen, Keith and 
Chief George Kifferly.
Keith Smith always hard at work.


21



Camden City Fire Department
Fire Marshal's Office

1988 Ford Ambulance that was converted by the Apparatus Shop for the Fire Marshal's Office.

photo provided by Joel Bain

 

photo provided by Bob Bartosz

Chief Fire Marshal Herb Leary sometimes is seen interviewing first-in fire fighters for information or getting into the thick-of-things by helping stretch the first line as companies are preparing to go in service.

photo provided by Joel Bain


23



Fire Maintenance

Vince and Gary doing some very needed painting at engine Co. #7. 

photo provided by Bob Bartosz.

Engine Co. #7 arriving and waiting for orders at a multiple alarm fire.

photo provided by Bob Bartosz


23


Bridge Collapse

Saturday morning May 17, ] 997 started out as a typical mild day. A local trucking firm has just dropped off a huge industrial trash dumpster at a construction site along Camden's Admiral Wilson Blvd. This is one of the main arteries through the City of Camden that connects to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia. On any weekday morning this highway is clogged with thousands of cars, this morning the traffic was very light. The truck driver was traveling eastbound on the Boulevard with its huge lifting device still raised in the air. What was about to happen was to be known as the miracle on Wilson Boulevard.

The truck was approaching the huge 16th Street Foot Bridge, that bridge extends 130 feet across over 8 lanes and has a clearance of 13 feet 7 inches. The truck's boom struck the top of the bridge causing it to come off its mounting and toppled it down across the four lane highway. Traveling along side of the truck at the same time was a woman with four small children in the car. On the other side was a 19 year old man from Philadelphia traveling alone in his 1991 Acura Legend. The impact of the collision blew all the windows out of the truck and ripped the rear of the truck off its frame. The women with the children in the car was hit with the debris flying from the truck and just missed the collapse of the bridge on top of the car. The driver of the other car was not so lucky, the bridge came down on top of his car crushing it down to the dashboard. The roof of the car struck him on the head forcing him downward, while his foot continued to push down on the accelerator. His car was now flattened and raced out of control away from the the women and small children. They were able to stop the car approximately 1/4 mile down the road after it slowed to about 5 MPH.

At 11:53 a.m. the 911 Center began receiving dozens of calls about a serious bridge collapse with people trapped. Camden County Fire Radio Center dispatched Engine Co. 6 and Battalion 1 to go eastbound. Engine Co. 9, Rescue 1 and Battalion 2 were dispatched westbound on Wilson blvd. As Battalion 1and Engine 6 approached the entrance to Admiral Wilson Boulevard they were met with a huge traffic back-up and could see the bridge collapsed in the distance. Battalion 1immediately ordered an additional Engine Co. to be dispatched, County Radio sent Engine Co. 7 down the highway in the opposite direction.

Camden fire fighters and EMS Personnel remove a victim from car to hospital after a bridge collapsed on Admiral Wilson Boulevard. Note bridge in background some 1/4 mile back. The woman and four children on the scene can be located directly behind the roof, less wreckage.

At this time various Camden EMS and Medic Units were also being dispatched. What everybody did not know at the time was that there was no one trapped at the collapse bridge site and that all the activity of the rescue operations would be taking place 1/4 of a mile from the accident scene. As Engine 7 now entered the deserted highway they came across the collapsed car with the trapped victim. Rescue 1 and Engine Co. 9 and Battalion 2 were now arriving on the opposite side of the highway. The EMS Squads were unable to reach the victim to access his condition so Captain Paul Escher of Rescue 1immediately had members place two jaws of life into service. The victim appeared to be unconscious at the time. Camden fire fighters removed the roof of the auto allowing medics to treat the injured victim who was going in and out of con­sciousness. Other fire fighters were now at the second auto finding only four crying children and mother who were not injured. And as one fire fighter put it, "lucky to be alive."

Fire fighters continued to use the Jaws to remove the drivers door and side panel enabling fire fighters to remove the victim. He was then rushed to Cooper Medical Center in Camden. He was treated for cuts and bruises and released later that evening. It was a miracle that he survived this accident.

Camden fire fighters and EMS Personnel work to free a victim from a crushed car that was the result of a collapsed bridge on Admiral Wilson Boulevard on May 17. 1997.

With the main highway now being completely shutdown, traffic was blocked for miles in all directions. NJ State Highway Department arrived a few hours later with huge cranes to lift the 190 ton bridge off the highway. Workers using cut­ting torches worked into the evening to dismantle the bridge. Traffic on the highway was now open some 12 hours later.

The other odd part of this story was that TV, radio and newspapers gave the live reports all day long about the acci­dent but not one station mentioned the major part that fire fighters and EMS personnel played. They acted professional­ly and saved a young mans life. What made the news focused on what a mess traffic was and how wonderfully the State Highway workers did in removing the wrecked bridge.

24



Vintage Apparatus

American-LaFrance 900 series, 1000 GPM pump and 150 G.W.T. Originally assigned to Engine Company 2, repowered with a Detroit Diesel and a wooden top. Reassigned to Engine Company 11.

Ladder Co. #2, A 1967 American LaFrance 900 series, 100' Tiller Ladder.

Engine Company 1, 1976 Maxim "S" model. 1250 GPM pump and 500 G.W.T.

Engine Company 9, a 1967 American LaFrance 900 series, 1000 GPM pump and 500 G.W.T. Originally painted white over red, now repainted lime green to conform with new apparatus.

Engine Co. #7, 1977 Pierce / Hendrickson 1000 GPM pump, 300 G.WT. and a 54' squirt. Taken shortly after being placed in service.

Battalion 3's 1959 Plymouth station wagon

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Apparatus from the Past

-+

7

+

Engine Company 3, a 1952 700 series American LaFrance, open cab, 1000 GPM pump and 150 G.w.T.

Engine Company 3, a 1976 Pierce / Hendrickson, 1000 GPM pump, 500 G.W.T.

Engine Company 1, a 1954800 series American LaFrance, open cab, 1000 GPM pump and 150 G.w.T.

Engine Company 6, a 1976 Pierce / Hendrickson 1000 GPM pump, 500 G.w.T

Auxiliary Company 1 was primarily used for fires at the East State Street Dump. Auxiliary l was housed with Engine Company 11 because Engine 11 was the only company that did not run with a 2-piece company (or engine and hose wagon). Engine Company 11, a 1976 Pierce / Hendrickson, 1000 GPM pump, 500 G.W.T.

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C.F.D. in Action

After venting the roof at Newton Avenue & Royden Streets, Ladder Co. 2 members do a quick retreat as conditions start to deteriorate. May 20, 1997.

photo provided by P. Orey.

Engine Co. 9 shown here stretching an additional line and preparing to go in service in the 2200 block of Westminster Avenue on July 8, 1972.

photo provided by Bob Bartosz

Engine Company 3 "laying-in" in order to supply Engine Company 10 at a dwelling fire at 25 South 7th Street on June 9, 1995.

photo provided by Bob Bartosz

Just another day working in Rescue Company 1 for Captain Daryl Lewison as mop-up operations start at 2816 Garfield Avenue on November 20, 1990. 

photo provided by Bob Bartosz

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C.F.D. in Action

With record heat during the summer, firefighting takes its toll on members

photos provided by Bob Banosz

Heavy fire is roaring from the 2nd floor rear of this row home in the 200 block of South 24th Street, May 25, 1996.

photo provided by Frank Saia

Engine Co. #8 prepares to go in service with its squirt at 719 Morgan boulevard, Aug. 17, 1995.

photo provided by Joel Bain

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C.F.D. in Action

Members from Rescue  Company 1 attempt to stretch a hose line through the 2nd floor after venting the windows at 813 North 8th Street on June 25, 1995.

photo provided by
John Maddox

On March 11, 1996 at the Conrail Pavonia Rail Yard at 16th & River Road, a diesel locomotive bums while running and coupled to two other locomotives.

photo provided by Joel Bain

May 7,1996, a 3-alarrn fire struck the old PSE&G Building at Locust & Spruce Streets. High voltage power lines hampered firefighters efforts when they started to fall and arc in the street below.

photo provided by Joel Bain

A mid-morning accident injured several people at the Benjamin Franklin Bridge Toll Plaza. Rescue Company 1 is seen going in service ready to extricate the injured with the Hurst Tool.

photo provided by Bob Bartosz

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C.F.D. in Action

Heavy fire is showing from the rear of a dwelling at Broadway & Van Hook Streets. FD units were responding to another call when they stumbled across this, the sign on the telephone states, "you're in the orange zone!" This April 13, 1996 job ended up going to 2-alarms.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Fire pushes out of the 2nd floor as members race to the roof to open up at this early-morning 2-alarm blaze at 823 Princeton Street on Feb. 28,1996.

photo provided by Joel Bain

 

 

March 22, 1995 Engine Company 1 members flush a hydrant while an delinquently parked car blocks the hydrant. Fortunately the fire was small and hook-up was not needed but the car was ticketed.

photo provided by Bob Bartosz

 

June 27, 1996 members from Rescue Company 1, Engine Company 1, and Battalion 1 are at the Beckett Street Terminal to remove a body that had been found in the Delaware River.

photo provided by
Bob Bartosz 

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Mischief Night '96
by Bob Bartosz

Camden New Jersey Fire Department had a busy night as the Little Devils came out on Halloween Eve. The evening started out at 7:07 p.m. with a working house fire at 1042 North 19th Street in the Cramer Hill Section of the city. All hands went to work and had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes.

Just as this blaze was being placed under control, Units were dispatched to 112 Stewart Street for an auto junkyard fire. Responding units could see heavy smoke and fire in the sky as some half dozen autos were involved. City firefighters were able to stop the spread of the blaze before any of the exposed homes could be involved.

Heavy fire vents from the 3rd floor windows and rear roof area in the 500 Block of Washington Street upon arrival of Fire Department units.

I,hoto provided by Joel Bain

 

At 7:43 p.m. Engine Company 6 was dispatched for a trash fire in the 500 block of Washington Street. As Engine Company 6 was approaching they were confronted with heavy fire coming from a three story vacant at 574 Washington Street. The box was filled out bringing additional Engine Companies 3 and 10, Ladder Company 1, Squad Company 2 (manpower) and Battalion Chief 1. The fire had now spread to an adjoining three story vacant. Battalion Chief Robert Basile had requested a special call for a Tower Ladder with all of Camden's Tower Ladders being tied up at other working fires. Fire Radio dispatched Station 11-4 from Pennsauken Fire Department for their Tower Ladder. The blaze has now heavily involved the two buildings with heavy fire coming out all of the windows and through the roof. Camden's Ladder Company 1 was now using its Ladder Pipe, Ground Companies were using heavy Master Streams and hand lines as Pennsauken's Tower ladder was now being put to work in the front of the building. It would take fire­fighters almost an hour to bring this blaze under control.

Meanwhile, various trash, rubbish and car fires were coming in. With most of the city companies now tied up, Mutual Aid Companies from the County were being dispatched into the city. Many being dispatched directly to a fire call before they reached their fire house coverup.

First due Collingswood Engine and Battalion 3's aide are seen stretching the first line as fire vents out the first floor of a vacant dwelling at 1773 Norris Street on October 30, 1996. 

photo provided by Joel Bainain

At 8:33 p.m. a call was received for a dwelling fire at 1773 Norris Street in the South Camden section of the city. In this area most of the homes are two story brick rows. Camden City Fire Marshal Herb Leary (FM 1) was the first to arrive, he reported heavy fire coming from a two story dwelling in the middle of a row of ten occupied dwellings. The first arriving Company was Engine Company 108, Collingswood, NJ. They were immediately ordered to use a 2 1/2 inch attack line to make the initial knockdown. And within 5 minutes the heavy fire was completely darkened down as other arriving units came to their assistance. The fire was confined to the one vacant dwelling. Occupied homes on both sides received smoke damage but another job well done.

As FM 1 was leaving this fire, a call was received at 8:56 p.m. for a dwelling fire at 7th and Mt. Vernon Streets. Engine Company 107 of Brooklawn, NJ, Fire Co., Camden City Engine Company 8, Ladder Company 102 of Gloucester City Fire Dept., Camden's Squad 2 and Battalion Chief 5 were dispatched. As FM 1 was approaching the fire grounds he could see heavy fire coming from a pair of two story vacant frame dwellings. As the first two companies were now arriving and leading off with their heaviest water line, all hands were now working to try to stop the spread of the fire from some nearby vacant properties. Camden's Deputy Fire Chief Skip Stinger was now arriving on the fire grounds, as he was walking down the street civilians were now pointing to look behind him. Down the next block, there were now flames towering out of a heavily involved two-

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story twin vacant dwelling some hundred yards from the now working fire. An immediate call was placed for a full assignment to the 600 block of Mt. Vernon Street.

First arriving companies were greeted with heavy fire at 618-620 Mt.. Vernon Street

 photo provided by Bob Bartosz

At 9:03 p.m. Engine Companies 7, 9, Ladder Company 3, Squad 1 and Battalion Chief 3 were dispatched to the fire at 618 Mt. Vernon Street. Chief Stinger along with Fire Marshal Leary and County Fire dispatcher Lieutenant Alex Hendry, who was on the scene, were quickly put to work manning the first water line, trying to cut the fire off from a nearby exposure. But the flames had already involved the two buildings and were now jumped the alley way and the third vacant building was now heavily involved.

Two fires, one at the 700 block and the other at the 600 block of Mt. Vernon, continued to bum out of control. Firefighters then noticed heavy smoke conditions coming from the 500 block of Mt. Vernon Street. At 9:12 p.m. Companies were dispatched to the 500 block of Mt. Vernon just off Broadway. Engine Co. 106 of Westmont, NJ, Fire Department, Engine Co. 203 from Barrington, NJ Fire Department, Squad Co. 4 along with Camden's Engine Company. 9 and Battalion Chief 6. The first arriving units found heavy smoke conditions coming from a vacant two story dwelling. They were successful in stopping the spread of this fire before it also consumed the vacant building.

There were now three major fires along Mt. Vernon Street. The coverup units were still being dispatched to various nuisance fires.

At 9:29 p.m. a call for a dwelling fire a 422 South 6th Street. This just around the corner from the now under control fire on Washington Street. Engine Company 1 along with County Coverup Company, Engine Company 106, Westmont, NJ, Fire Department (who was just released from the Mt. Vernon fires) along with County Ladder Company 202, Blenheim Fire Co. along with Camden's Battalion Chief 6. all hands were put to work on this job. Some 4 minutes later at 9:33 p.m. a call came in for a fire in the North Camden Section of the city for 253 Bailey Street. County Engine 206, Delaware Fire Company of Pennsauken, NJ, Township, along with Engine Company 109 Pennsauken Fire Company 2 along with Ladder Company 201 from Blackwood, NJ Fire Department and Camden's Squad 4 and Battalion Chief 4, Joe Marini. Chief Marini being the first on the scene reported that they had a two story attached vacant with fire showing on all floors and would be using all hands.

Just as this fire was being placed under control another blaze broke out some seven blocks away in North Camden. Units were dispatched to 626 North 9th Street. Engine Company 11, Ladder Company 201 from Blackwood FD. (who just left the Bailey Street fire) along with Camden Squad Company 4 and Battalion Chief 6. The first arriving units found heavy fire conditions in the rear of a row of three story vacant brick dwellings. As the lines were being stretched, members noticed smoke coming from the rear of a row of vacant dwellings to the left of the fire building that they were working on. This turned out to be a pile of trash and was quickly extinguished. 

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Firefighter Sammy Balakas is ready and waiting for water as the 1st and 2nd floor is fully involved and is threatening the neighboring exposures at South 7th & Mt. Vernon Streets.

photo provided by Joel Bain

Things seemed to quiet down after this call, there were only a few rubbish calls. The Town Watch has over a thousand volunteers combing the streets with the assistance of City Police. Many said, that this helped control some of the vandalism, and most of the major fires were held in a small part of the city.

Camden Fire Chief, Kenneth Penn, who was working at the Command Center, responded to a few of the work­ing fires and commented the men for their outstanding work, as no multiple alarms were sounded and all the jobs were held with 1 alarm. He had high praise for all of his members and for all the Mutual Aid Companies which assisted his Department throughout the night.

There was a total of 67 calls with 15 working fires.

Companies assisting the Camden Fire Department were Oaklyn, Mt. Ephraim, Westmont, Brooklawn, Collingswood, Pennsauken Companies 2, 4, and 5. Woodlynne, Audubon, Gloucester City, Merchantville, Barrington, Lawnside, Cherry Hill, Bellmawr Park, Magnolia, West Berlin, Runnemede, Ashland of Voorhees Twp. along with Ladder companies from Blackwood, Blenheim, Chews Landing, Voorhees, and Canteen 1. County Fire Dispatchers working the Fire Board were Captain George Martin, working at the Command Center, Dispatchers Jim Jankowski and Mike Howard working the Fire Radio.

Handling Operation out of Camden City Fire Headquarters, working along with Deputy Chief James Nash were County Mutual Aid Coordinator Lee Ryan, along with County Fire Coordinator Jim Jombe and Deputy Coordinator Bill Schaffer who were handling the Mutual Aid Apparatus at the Staging areas in Collingswood and Pennsauken.

All in all, a job well done.

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