Westwood Volunteer Fire Department

Westwood Volunteer Fire Department Westwood Fire Department - 100% Volunteer Since 1894
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On February 10, 1894, a group of concerned citizens from the borough organized themselves into a volunteer firefighting unit known as Continental Hook and Ladder. Named as the first chief of the Fire Department was Genest Ottigon, affectionately known as "Pink Whiskers" for his stylish red beard, a trademark of the day. Westwood's first piece of apparatus was a hand drawn hook and ladder outfitted with ladders, buckets, axes, hooks, crossbars and rope - everything the modern firefighter of the day would need to meet any situation the fire scene might present. WFD Horse TeamWestwood resident George T. Brickell donated a parcel of land on Center Avenue for the construction of a firetruck house. Long before water hydrants were in use, Gary Cronk, whose stable was located across from the first firehouse, used his horses to pull the firewagon, (as seen in one of the great photographs in Westwood's archives; pictured to the right). In years to follow, Westwood was to see the addition of a water system through which water mains with hydrants were installed on the principal streets of the community. With the advent of the new water system, the call for new equipment was met with the purchase of a two-wheel hose reel and 500 feet of hose. By 1910, the Continental Hook and Ladder Company had seen the addition of two companies, whose members were transfers from the Hook and Ladder itself. On April 24, 1909, the Borough Council approved the transfer of twenty eight members of Continental Hook and Ladder to a newly formed fire cOld WFD Firehouseompany, Westwood Hose Company No. 1. Following the passage of a new fire ordinance in March, 1910, a second hose company, Continental Hose Company No. 1, was formed on April 6, 1910. The twenty two members of this new company were also Hook and Ladder transfers. As a provision of the ordinance, Westwood Hose Company was ordered to reorganize under the name of Westwood Hose Company No. 2. The reorganization gave the Westwood Fire Department the configuration that has lasted to this day. The spring of that year also saw the addition of "Prince and Belle" - a new team of black fire horses (no record of a wetdown exists). The original firehouse was torn down in 1928 and the land turned over to the borough. At the site the town erected the Municipal Building which housed the Police Department, Municipal Court, and Fire Department. On July 19, 1935, the Westwood Fireman's Ambulance Service went into operation with 20 members covering the entire Pascack Valley (another Westwood first). The ambulance was owned and operated solely by the firemen. This tradition was to continue until 1973, at which time membership was opened to all Westwood residents forming the Westwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which to this day provides exemplary emergency medical care to the residents of the borough. In praise and memory of its deceased members, the Westwood Fire Department in 1953 dedicated the Firemen's Memorial Park using the first fire bell as its centerpiece. The name of each deceased member from 1894 to date, is inscribed on the monument. Annually, the Memorial Committee visits the graves of each deceased member to place department and exempt flags. This tribute is only a partial reminder of the proud tradition of the Westwood Fire Department and its members both past and present. In 1994, the department celebrated their 100th Anniversary by hosting the Annual NJ/NY Firefighter's Convention and Parade. At this time, members adopted the slogan "We honor those who came before us." A tribute to every member who had previously served within the department. The phrase is inscribed on several of the department's apparatus to this day. A few years later, the Municipal Building, which now only housed the fire department, was torn down to make way for a brand new fire headquarters. The department was temporarily housed in a metal garage located next to the Westwood Department of Public Works. The garage was properly coined the nickname the "Tin House". After several financial and weather-related setbacks, the department finally moved into their new state-of the art facility in August 2005. Today, the Westwood Fire Department boasts over 70 members operating department equipment including: one 1998 Aerialscope/Spartan 95-foot tower ladder, a 1993 Swab/Mack 1500 gpm rear mounted pumper, a 1994 Swab/Mack 1500 gpm mid-ship pumper, and 2007 Rescue 1 rescue truck; fire inspector and chief's cars. The Department has such modern-day cares as the high-rise Westwood House senior citizen home, the Pascack Valley Hospital, an expanding business district and industrial park, as well as its overwhelming concern for the residential community. Donating thousands of hours per year, the Westwood Fire Department continues to this day to display its proud and unremitting dedication to duty, friendship and community that began that fine day in February, 1894.

Mission: Since February 10, 1894 the Westwood Volunteer Fire Department has been serving 24/7, 365 days a year. Westwood is 2.9 square miles with a population of 11,000 residents. Our intention is to serve the public in the most professional manner possible. Assisting our law enforcement agency and emergency medical service whenever requested. The department operates out of one centrally located headquarters with two engines, one truck and one rescue. Please stop in and visit or inquire about becoming a volunteer. We also welcome comments on our performance and service to the community we proudly serve. Help us to help you.

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!
07/04/2020

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!

07/03/2020

Quick video of today’s fire.

At 05:16 am on July 2nd the fire department was dispatched to a reported house fire on Hillside Ave. First arriving unit...
07/03/2020

At 05:16 am on July 2nd the fire department was dispatched to a reported house fire on Hillside Ave. First arriving units confirmed a working fire on the second floor of the home and a size up was given. Engine 1 arrived on scene, pulling just past the house and leaving room for the truck. The first line was quickly put into service and made an aggressive interior push to knock down the fire on the second floor. At the the same time the truck crew was conducting searches on all floors, and laddering the building. Members of the Hillsdale fire department had then stretched a second line into the attic to knock down the remaining fire to keep it from spreading. The fire was knocked down and under control with in 30 to 45 minutes of the initial dispatch. Good job by all crews and thank you to our mutual aid Hillsdale Fire Department and Woodcliff Lake Fire Department. Some photos provided by Btfirephotos.

Jodi Murphy Westwood Councilwoman
07/02/2020

Jodi Murphy Westwood Councilwoman

Thank you to our amazing Westwood Volunteer Fire Department! Always ready and prepared to answer emergency calls. The residents of this home are all safe.

07/01/2020
City of Hackensack Fire Department

We remember our brothers from the Hackensack Fire Department who made the ultimate sacrifice 32 years ago today.

Today July 1, 2020 we take time to remember our brothers Captain Richard Williams, Lieutenant Richard Reinhagen, and firefighters Steven Ennis, William Krejsa, and Leonard Radumski who made the supreme sacrifice while operating at alarm #1177. Please take a moment to remember these brave men and say a prayer for them, their families, and all the firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty, also those firefighters who protect us day in and day out across this county. Hackensack Fire Department would like to thank all who have posted comments and shared stories about the sacrifice these brave men gave on that tragic day. Tonight @1800 hours at memorial park we will hold our annual fallen firefighter memorial. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing. If you can not attend we will be live streaming on Facebook Thank you all again for the years of support #share

Last night members were finally able to go back to the firehouse! After almost 4 months our members were able to safely ...
06/25/2020

Last night members were finally able to go back to the firehouse! After almost 4 months our members were able to safely gather together again and proceed with an in-house department meeting while taking all the safety precautions ourselves and the borough put into place together. Members sat 6 feet apart and were wearing their masks while conducting the meeting. Thank you captain Kronewitter for wanting to take a picture to show that we stand strong against this pandemic. We are all here to protect this borough no matter what!

Westwood, NJ
06/25/2020

Westwood, NJ

Made a donation of over $1500 to the Westwood Volunteer Fire Department yesterday afternoon! Thank you to everyone who participated in the Westwood Stronger Together lawn sign fundraiser! Huge thanks to the rest of the team for making - Jaqui, Erin, and Jodi!!

~Lesley

Jodi Murphy Westwood Councilwoman
06/19/2020

Jodi Murphy Westwood Councilwoman

Happy 100th Birthday Doris Smith! ❤️

Happy Birthday Doris!!!! Thank you for all your dedicated years of service to the department’s Ladies’s Auxiliary!
06/19/2020

Happy Birthday Doris!!!! Thank you for all your dedicated years of service to the department’s Ladies’s Auxiliary!

​Happy 💯 Birthday Doris Smith! It’s YOUR day in Westwood! 🎂

From the Mayor’s proclamation: 🎉
Mrs. Smith is a Registered Nurse who worked at Pascack Valley Hospital for 15 years and at Meadow School in Hillsdale for many years.
🎉
She served as a trustee on the Board of the Westwood Senior House and Riley Center for over 20 years; served as a poll worker for Westwood’s elections for several decades; and volunteered with Meals on Wheels for over 20 years. She is still an active member of both the Westwood Seniors, where she is a Past President and Recording Secretary since 1983, and the 50+ Club of St. Andrew’s Church. 🎉

​Doris Smith has been a member of the Westwood Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary for an astounding 70 years, serving as President and Chaplain during her active days. 🎉

She married Alfred Smith in 1942, and together they raised four sons in Westwood, and now enjoy 10 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

🎉 As if all these amazing accomplishments weren’t enough, Mrs. Smith continues to write poetry in her free time.
🎉
​“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Westwood that Doris Smith is hereby honored for her tireless dedication to the Westwood Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary as well 100 years of a full and inspiring life; and BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that the Mayor and Council declare Friday, June 19, 2020 as “Doris Smith Day” throughout the Borough of Westwood.”

Photos from Westwood Volunteer Fire Department's post
06/19/2020

Photos from Westwood Volunteer Fire Department's post

Congratulations Class of 2020!
06/13/2020

Congratulations Class of 2020!

Congratulations to the Westwood Regional High School graduates, and to the Brookside and Berkeley 5th Graders! Proud of all of you for staying strong through circumstances beyond your control. You took 59 days of virtual learning and made the best of it.
The Westwood community was there in strong support with the Westwood Volunteer Fire Department, Westwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the Westwood DPW and the Westwood Police Department leading the cheers with sirens blazing.
I also want to give a special thanks to Officer Danielle Neuberger for coordinating with the schools and parents for these events, and for coordinating all of the birthday celebration events. These events have made special memories for all of the kids in Westwood.

06/08/2020
Celebrate Westwood

Celebrate Westwood

Reason 1 to CELEBRATE WESTWOOD: Diversity!

Whether we're exploring the full range of cultural backgrounds present in Westwood, or the variegated interests, talents, and histories of our residents, one thing is for sure: Westwood has a diverse, vibrant, and dedicated population ready to get involved, help a neighbor, share a talent, or enjoy the offerings of their fellow Westwoodians!

Maybe its athleticism as we've celebrated through the many Recreation Department offerings and WRSD sports teams. Perhaps it's an artistic inclination or an eye for design as celebrated in many of our businesses, Woodington Players, and Community Quilt squares. There's ample musical talent, just a fraction of which will be on stage June 8. Volunteerism and philanthropy flows thick through our service corps, fraternal organizations, youth groups, and places of worship. There's technical prowess, professional, financial and medical services, merchants and eateries of any type you could fancy. Westwood truly has it all! We've counted down 125 reasons to Celebrate Westwood and we've just barely scratched the surface!

It's this diversity of aptitude, diversity of passion, diversity of backgrounds, and diversity of ambitions and aspirations that make Westwood truly unique. Families of one or a dozen; those who have been here for 1 week or 6 generations; regardless of creed, nationality, origin, politics, gender, socio-economic status, ability, age, orientation, profession, or any other descriptor that may on the surface be a divisive characteristic, we are all essential and intertwined parts of our vibrant community of Westwood.

Like our ever-growing Community Quilt, we are many unique swatches, woven together by a common thread, always growing but always connected. Tomorrow, we Celebrate Westwood in all its many interconnected parts and look forward to the next 125 years!

A big Happy Birthday to member Mike Ciringione on turning 21 today! We were so happy to be a part of your special day!
06/04/2020

A big Happy Birthday to member Mike Ciringione on turning 21 today! We were so happy to be a part of your special day!

05/25/2020

Thank you to everyone who watched the live stream of our services this morning and thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy our parade around town. You the people are what make Westwood the best town around. Photos from today's events to be posted soon.

THE PARADE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!!!!! Come out and support all the veterans and first responders!
05/25/2020

THE PARADE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!!!!! Come out and support all the veterans and first responders!

Westwood Volunteer Fire Department's cover photo
05/25/2020

Westwood Volunteer Fire Department's cover photo

05/25/2020

We will be live streaming our Memorial Day services tomorrow morning starting around 8 a.m.

The Westwood Fire Dept would like to thank Westwood Council member Cheryl Hodges, her husband Westwood Fire Department C...
05/23/2020

The Westwood Fire Dept would like to thank Westwood Council member Cheryl Hodges, her husband Westwood Fire Department Chaplain & Ex Chief Jaymee Hodges, the Hodges family, including all their grandchildren for their help with the placement of these American flags at Fireman’s Memorial Park. Every American flag has a name tag that honors our 233 fallen Westwood Fire Department members, 51 fallen Westwood Ladies Auxiliary members, and a special 3 remaining flags without name tags. The first unnamed flag is in honor of all military service members that have lost their lives protecting our freedom and to honor all military service members past and present, the second unnamed flag is to honor all first responders, the third unnamed flag is to honor all the medical staff that have given so much to protect all of us!

Celebrate Westwood
05/23/2020

Celebrate Westwood

Exciting news! The borough has partnered with the Westwood Volunteer Fire Department and Veterans’ Council to bring a Memorial Day parade to YOU! Please stay safe and watch from your steps, stoops, and sidewalks at a safe distance. Do NOT congregate. Patriotic masks encouraged!

05/20/2020
Jarett

What an amazing video of our Department way back when! Our companies going to work and getting things done like we always do! And with great pride!

Westwood Police and Fire Department, 1939.

Westwood Heritage Society
05/19/2020

Westwood Heritage Society

Memorial Day Parade 2013. Sorry I can't remember who gave us these these beautiful photos.

Yesterday May 16th, 2020 the Westwood Fire Department had the pleasure of being a part of Ryan and Shannon Rumsey’s wedd...
05/17/2020

Yesterday May 16th, 2020 the Westwood Fire Department had the pleasure of being a part of Ryan and Shannon Rumsey’s wedding day. Such a beautiful day to get married in the town of Westwood! We congratulate our brother Ryan and his beautiful wife Shannon on becoming Mr. & Mrs. Rumsey! Best of luck to the both of you and may life bring you nothing but good health and happiness!!

Westwood, NJ
05/12/2020

Westwood, NJ

Handed off a $2,800 check to Ed Casey, president of the Westwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps today! Thank you to all of you that purchased signs!! You made this possible!!Can't wait to see how much we raise for the Westwood Volunteer Fire Department!

Thank you Jodi Murphy, Jaqueline Santiago, and Erin Collins!

#westwoodstrongertogether

05/11/2020
05/11/2020

As we end this Mother’s Day during this strange time, our members wanted to say happy Mother’s Day to all the Westwood Fire Dept. moms! No matter how many times we leave them in the middle of the night, or during family functions we wanted to show them how much we appreciate their support for everything we do. We would also like to say happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Stay healthy and be safe! We love you all!

Thank you officer Neuberger for makes our town birthday celebrations special!
05/04/2020

Thank you officer Neuberger for makes our town birthday celebrations special!

#WeAreWestwood
Celebrate: Officer Neuberger!

When life hands you a lockdown, make a parade! Faced with the prospect of Westwood kids missing out on traditional birthday celebrations, Councilwoman Erin Collins brought an idea to the Westwood Police Department: parade the borough emergency vehicles through town to spread some cheer! Chief Pontillo happily agreed and since then, Officer Neuberger has been on the case! She has organized over 116 parades since 3/31 with over 23 still scheduled through mid-May, for kids of all ages. And it's not just the birthday boys or girls that get in on the excitement! The parades have become neighborhood events, with residents running to their front porches when they hear the familiar roar of sirens, waving with ear to ear grins at the DPW trucks, Westwood Volunteer Fire Department, Westwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps vehicles, and police vehicles rolling down the block. Residents have begun to join with their own decorated vehicles, signs, balloons, and enthusiastic cheers. Sure, we all want this pandemic to end, but this is one thing we could get used to sticking around!

Message us to make a nomination!

Westwood Police Department
05/04/2020

Westwood Police Department

👨‍🚒Today is International Firefighters' Day👩‍🚒

Chief Michael R. Pontillo and the members of the Westwood Police Department wish to Thank the Westwood Fire Department for their dedication and service to our community.

👩‍🚒Thank You👨‍🚒

04/28/2020

This evening around 6 p.m. the fire department was dispatched to a call of activated fire alarms with visible smoke in the house. Upon arrival, chief Woods found the house filled with smoke and unoccupied at the time. A back door was forced and crew members found an unattended cooking pot on the stove. The smoke was ventilated and nothing, besides the pot, was damaged in the home. Good job by all crews. REMINDER: please be careful and mindful when leaving cooking food unattended. We want to make sure every Westwood resident starts and ends their day with a delish meal.

We never thought we would say this but our little jimmy is going to College!! Congratulations to  cadet captain jimmy vo...
04/25/2020

We never thought we would say this but our little jimmy is going to College!! Congratulations to cadet captain jimmy voorhis for his acceptance into The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. As a department we have watched you grow into an incredible young man. Keep up the good work!

04/22/2020
Westwood, NJ

Westwood, NJ

Westwood's finest and bravest heading to another birthday parade in town 💙🚓🚓🚒🚒🚑🚑🎉
Westwood Volunteer Fire Department Westwood Police Department Westwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps

We would like to say thank you to the Westwood KMART for their donation of KN95 masks for our fireman! The support that ...
04/19/2020

We would like to say thank you to the Westwood KMART for their donation of KN95 masks for our fireman! The support that our community has shown our organization and many other emergency workers is amazing. Another great reason to live in Westwood.

04/15/2020

We are always serving our community 24/7, 365 days a year, rain or shine, virus or no virus. So while on our newly set up birthday routine for the children in town, the fire department came upon a small fire with in a dump truck’s rear brakes. A few water cans and a trash line were pulled to extinguish the blaze. Afterwards the birthday celebration continued as scheduled. Good job by all!

Interesting piece of history! The fire department always responds to an emergency with great precision and caution. Hope...
04/14/2020

Interesting piece of history! The fire department always responds to an emergency with great precision and caution. Hopefully our new police chief understands. 😉 Westwood Police Department

!931,Westwood Police Chief advises Police Commissioner about the reckless manner the fire trucks speed through town.
He recommends that they limit their speed to 25 miles per hour.

As we celebrate Easter Sunday, our department also celebrates and remembers Captain James “Jake” C. Voorhis. Captain Jak...
04/12/2020

As we celebrate Easter Sunday, our department also celebrates and remembers Captain James “Jake” C. Voorhis. Captain Jake tragically passed away 43 years ago today, April 12th 1977, fighting the Comfort Coal structure fire. He is survived by his 5 children, 9 grand children, and 4 great grand children, with most of them being associated with the fire department. A park was made in his honor at the end of Oakland Ave. in town. If you ever get the chance to walk through the park, take a look at captain Jake’s memorial rock and remember the sacrifice he gave for our town. As our department motto says “We Honor Those Who Came Before Us” and as we always say every Memorial Day service “you will never be forgotten, you will always be in our hearts”.

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93 Center Ave.
Westwood, NJ
07675

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