History of the Fire Company
Although the East Windsor Vol. Fire Co. No.1 was officially incorporated on July 11, 1969, the history of this company began on Palm Sunday of April 1969. On that evening several men met at Bill Sullivan's home to discuss the possibility of organizing a fire company in East Windsor Township. Present at that meeting were: Bill Sullivan, who became the first President, Don Schultz, who at the time was Mayor of East Windsor Township, Bob Abrams, who became the first Captain to the fire police and Ray Lewis, who later became the second Captain of the fire police. Mayor Schultz had been urging the organization of a township fire company for some time, having recognized the need to provide fire protection to what was the fastest-growing community in Mercer County. Police Chief Joe Michinsky had encouraged the formation of a fire company and offered his assistance to see it happen. After reviewing the facts, these individuals decided that it was time that a fire department be organized in East Windsor Township.
On may 5, 1969 a meeting was held at the East Windsor Township Police Headquarters for the purpose of discussing the organization of the fire company. Bill Sullivan and Bob Mattern, both of whom were experienced firefighters in other communities, were introduced to twenty prospective members present at this meeting and were appointed temporary Co-Chairpersons of the organization.
On July 11, 1969, the 28 member fire company was officially incorporated as the East Windsor Vol. Fire Co. No. 1. At its meeting on July 24, 1969, the first line officers were elected. The line officers were: Chief Robert Mattern, Ast. Chief James Terry, Asst. Chief William Nichols, Captain William Dillon, and Lieutenants Frank Bowker and Kal Prost. The administrative officers were: President William Sullivan, Vice-President Otto Rosenberger, Secretary Richard Raub, and Treasurer Joseph Serinese. Honorary member, the late Capt. John T. Dempster performed the swearing ceremonies.
The new fire company received its first two pieces of apparatus from the Washington Volunteer Firemen. One of the engines was donated from WVF and the other was purchased. A third engine was acquired from Prospect Heights Fire Company in September of 1969, a 1957 Ford Bronco Single-Stage 750 GPM pumper. In November of 1969, our Ladies Auxiliary purchased a 1946 Mack Pumper from the West Windsor Township, Princeton Junction Fire Company. The cost of this pumper was $101.26; the highest bid made back in November of 1969, as compared to today's cost of an apparatus at $410,000+. The acquisitions of the 3 apparatus in addition to a 1955 Ford Utility Vehicle gave the company an arsenal noteworthy in its time of superior fire attack.
From July-September 1969 arrangements were made to house the equipment at the Old York Car Wash on Route 130. After the purchase of the third engine, the company moved from the temporary location to a more permanent site at an over-sized garage next to the Shady Rest Trailer Park on Route 130. With thanks to the assistance of owner Phil LoBianco, the company remained there until September of 1972.
The first call for the fire company was a fire at the Windsor Castle Apartments on December 31st, 1969. In the early stages of the East Windsor Vol. Fire Co. No. 1, assistance was provided by the Hightstown Fire Company. By April 1970, the East Windsor Vol. Fire Co. No. 1, now 50 members strong went "solo". An agreement was made to have the Hightstown Fire Company cover all areas east of Route 130, while the first established district for EWVFC#1 would cover all areas West of Route 130.
1972 was another milestone for East Windsor Vol. Fire Co. No. 1. In that year, the EWVFC#1 moved to its present headquarters on One Mile Road. The Company also received two major pieces of apparatus, a 1972 Ward La France 1000 GPM engine and a 1972 - 75 foot Ward La France Arial Ladder Truck, as well as a tractor-drawn 7000 gallon 1967 Mack Tanker. During this time, members were recruited from the east side of the township for membership in a new fire district. The new "eastern" members allowed the EWVFC#1 to form a substation on Twin Rivers Drive. On January 11, 1973, the Company took over sole coverage of East Windsor with the addition of its substation on the eastern half of the township. With the combination of the two Fire Houses, the East Windsor Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 now provide fire protection for the entire township. The fire company continued to operate out of the two stations until December 1977, when the township council passed an ordinance recognizing the East Windsor Vol. Fire Co. No. 2.
In the last few years, the EWVFC#1 has remained busy with an ever-increasing number of warehouse fires and mutual aid calls all across the developed portion of Central New Jersey and remains dedicated to serving our community and neighbors. Annual call totals have been in the 600s for the last few years as the Fire Company continues protecting the community. An up to date list, with pictures, of apparatus can be viewed under the "apparatus" tab.