ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – For the better part of four decades, the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department has touted the color “Fruehauf/Mack Yellow” for all their apparatus with the exception of the former fire police van and the past few Chief response vehicles. The color red is the most common fire truck seen throughout the country and in earlier days, Atlantic Highlands did have red fire trucks.
But now, thanks to Borough Council and Councilman Roy Dellosso, who is also the fire liaison, the department has a red fire truck back in the fleet.
Mayor and Council included funding in the 2020 municipal budget to purchase a replacement truck for the 1985 Gruman 102’ Aerial Cat that has served the Borough well. With an upgrade in the late 1990’s the vehicle was a front-line response vehicle for well over 30 years. The Gruman was recently auctioned and purchased by a private fire truck collector in Cape May where it is maintained and garage kept.
With the cost of a new tower ladder truck tipping the charts at over $1.2 million, the all-volunteer fire department agreed to purchase a used vehicle as a stop gap measure for the next five-plus years. Mayor and Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the purchase in May of 2020.
The new red truck is a 1995 Pierce Lance, 100’ Tower Ladder Truck formerly owned by the Berkley Heights Fire Department. “The vehicle has been meticulously maintained and we knew this was a great deal for us,” said Marty Hawley Jr, the 2020 Fire Chief. The department took delivery of the vehicle this past November. Berkley Heights Deputy Fire Chief Jim Hopkins met with members and reviewed the operation of the truck. Fire Department members have already committed dozens of hours training on the apparatus.
“This piece of equipment fits right in with the rest of our fleet except its red” said 2021 Fire Chief Scott Burbank. “We have many members already qualified to drive and operate this truck which will serve the community for many years to come. We appreciate the work of many to get this truck here and in service.”
Next time you see a red fire truck responding to a call or training at the harbor or firehouse, stop and take a look at the newest addition to the fleet.
Fire Department President Brian Sheehan added “we are thankful to the Mayor and Council for their support in funding this vehicle for us and that of our members who just last year responded to over 180 calls for service. We can’t do this work alone and we need your continued support.”