Collingswood Fire Company No. 1

On a winter’s evening in 1893, Collingswood Fire Company. No. 1 was brought into existence in the boiler room attached to the green house of Mr. John Escher. Up to this time the firefighters were designated the “Bucket Brigade” and had among its members the leading citizens of the, what was then the “Village of Collingswood”. Their equipment was neither awe-inspiring or extensive, just one fire ax and one dozen buckets. “Whether from a lack of enthusiasm or the exceeding dearth of fires, this company fell into a tranquility from which it never recovered and, like the fire buckets, soon passed out of existence.

The year 1894 saw the town rapidly expand and the erection of several new buildings impressed upon the minds of the citizens the necessity of better fire protection. Among them were several firemen, who urged that the town take immediate steps to guard the lives and property of the people. Under the leadership of Mr. Escher, they met to achieve this goal. A public meeting was held in the spring of 1894, at the residence of Mr. F.A. Knight, and the real organization of Collingswood Fire Company No. 1 was affected.

Mr. Richard T. Collings was elected president and Mr. John Bailey, secretary. Nothing further was done until January 8, 1895, when steps were taken to call a meeting, for the purpose of incorporating the company. The meeting was held on March 5, 1985, and the company was incorporated in the mean time. Mr. Collings and Mr. Bailey having resigned, the honor of being the first president fell to the lot of Mr. Walter C. Boyce. Mr. F.M. North became secretary. Mr. F.A. Knight was elected vice president. The first steps toward securing a permanent home was taken this meeting, when Mr. Howard L. Merrick was requested to interview the Collingswood Water and Lighting Co. with a view of securing the Devoe property adjoining the stand pipe on Collings Avenue.

The first committee on by-laws, consisted of Messrs. W.J. Moss, Wm. Darnell and John Flynn presented their report at this meeting and were discharged. Messrs. Henry Bennett, John Escher and Eugene Darnell were appointed a committee on entertainment. The first contribution came through the generosity of Mr. L.F. Hurff, who donated the use of the hall (Tatem’s Hall).

The next meeting was held on March 12, 1895, and the articles of incorporation secured by Lawyer Wm. Darnell were ratified. The following were enrolled as charter members. H.L. Merrick, Henry, Frech, F.A. Knight, Henry R. Tatem, L.F. Hurff, FM North, Henry Bennett, Harry W. Smith, Harry S. Woods, Henry B. Willetts, Thomas Jack Jr, Joseph E. Scott, Theo. Austermuhl, John L. Flynn, H.L. North, Wm. J. Moss, Chas. Albertson, John C. Escher, James Jaggard Sr, Chalkley Parker SR, Walter C. Boyce, W.E. Macrea and Glen Devoe. They duly signed and ratified the certificate of incorporation, which was to run for a period of fifty years.

It being necessary according to law, to have some person, of an incorporate, to witness the signatures, Eugen Darnell was selected and thus deprived of the honor of being numbered among the incorporates, by unanimous consent, however, his name was added to this role.

Join A Professional Team
18 Or Over Members -
The fire company is always in search of new members to assist them in providing fire protection service to the residents of Collingswood. Free training is provided. If you are the age of 18 and over and would like to apply to become a volunteer firefighter, please visit the “Downloads” page and print out an application.

Junior Firefighters

The Collingswood Fire Company No. 1 sponsors Explorer Post 161 in a partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. This group of young men and women, between the ages of 14-17, are instructed on the process it takes to become a firefighter when they turn 18 years old. They also participate in training exercises that allows them to assist on the scene of fire calls. To apply to become a member of the explorer program, please visit the “Downloads” page and print out an application.

Hall Rental

The Collingswood Fire Company has a banquet hall that is available for rent. The hall holds approximately 80 people with a dance floor. There is an ice machine, soda dispensing system and a full kitchen with stove, oven and two refrigerators. The fire company provides bartenders for service of beverages during your event. For questions or inquiries contact (856)854-1043 ext. 401.

Make A Donation

The volunteer fire company operates solely on donations from you. With the donations the fire company is able to pay utility bills, maintain the building and grounds and provide equipment and training to its members. Any donation will help. If you are willing to make a donation, please make a check payable to:

Collingswood Fire Company #1

20 W. Collings Avenue

Collingswood, NJ  08108

For more information on the Collingswood Fire Company #1 please contact (856)854-7447 ext. 0