Page 14 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • September 16, 2009 100 At the time the Midland Park Fire Department was first formed, a fire alarm consisted of a steel railroad tire rim suspended from a frame that was struck by a hammer. This system was ineffective, particularly at night. To overcome the alarm system’s shortfalls, tire rims were strategically placed around town. Their locations included Godwin Avenue near the Methodist Church, Central Avenue in Wortendyke, on Goffle Road near the brook, Erie Avenue near Glen Avenue, and Franklin Avenue near Rea Avenue. The Granite Linen Company, which had been restored after the 1905 fire, permitted the installation of a steam-powered fire whistle on its property. However, the range of this whistle was also considered ineffective. Mayor Henry J. Wostbrock subsequently had a new fire whistle installed at the Bergen Water Company pumping station. This improvement allowed the borough to remove the railroad tire alarms from service. Eventually a fire horn was installed atop town hall on Godwin Avenue to summon th ANNIVERSARY Fire alarm system has come a long way The railroad tire rim which acted as an early fire alarm system. volunteers to a fire, and through the 1950s this system was supplemented by a phone chain run by the women’s auxiliary. Fire alarm boxes connected directly to the horn were strategically placed on telephone poles throughout town so that an alarm could be activated by pulling the box. Each box had its own code, and all households had a card giving the code for each box so that they could identify the location of a fire called from a box. “There would be a line of cars, bikes and people responding to check out a fire, even at night,” recalls Edward “Eppie” Hollema, a 55-year member. The system worked well enough in town during daytime hours, he noted, but the horn could not easily be heard at night with the windows closed or if a volunteer was out of town. Plectrons, a radio-like device, were issued to each volunteer in the 1960s to supplement the horn. Today, firefighters are summoned via personal paging devices, with the horn and several sirens throughout town still sounded until 7 p.m. as a backup. Congratulations to our centennial heroes, past and present... we are so proud of your great service!!! Betty Sullivan Cell: 201-788-5355 Email: LAN LAN ASSOCIATES SINCE 1965 ENGINEERING, PLANNING, ARCHITECTURE, SURVEYING, INC. 445 Godwin Avenue Midland Park, NJ 07432 (201) 447-6400 WWW.LAN-NJ.COM FAX (201) 447-1233 Thank You to The Midland Park Fire Dept. for 100 Years of Service ARCHITECTURE • ENGINEERING • SURVEYING • PLANNING This special section is published in celebration of the Midland Park Fire Department’s 100th Anniversary. 9-16-09 janine TerriOConnorSullivan3x3(9-16-09) 3 x 3” Publishers: Albert & Ester Vierheilig Editorial Copy: Jennifer Crusco & Ester Vierheilig Photos: Courtesy of Midland Park Memorial Library Section Cover: Courtesy of the Midland Park Fire Department’s official 100th Anniversary Publication Historic articles were written based on information contained in “Midland Park: The First Century of an American Community” and the Midland Park Fire Department’s official 100th Anniversary Publication. ������������������� �������������������������� ��������������������������� 333 Godwin Avenue, Midland Park, NJ • 201-652-0744