The Franklin Fire Department is an all volunteer fire department located in Sussex County, New Jersey.
The department was organized in the old store room of the New Jersey Zinc Company's store on
March 9th, 1911 (in what at the time was called 'Franklin Furnace'). At that time they were officially known as the New Jersey Zinc Company Fire Department of Franklin, N.J. and for several years after. The department utilized the store room as a meeting place for meetings and equipment storage. Their original equipment consisted of three hand-drawn hose carts, and one hand-drawn ladder cart. This equipment as well as their hose was furnished by The New Jersey Zinc Company up until the time Franklin was incorporated as a Borough
After the formation of the Borough in 1913, control of the fire department was then shifted to the Mayor and Council. The equipment was turned over to the Borough, and the Fire Department came under Municipal control.
In 1915, the organization officially became a member of the New Jersey Firemen's Association.
Due to the rapid growth of the town population the council decided in 1916 that it became necessary to have more efficient apparatus and an American La France pumper was purchased. The First chauffeurs were; Frank Straulina, Andrew Salvas, Daniel Van Auken and Francis X. Hyde.
In 1920 the Franklin Fire Department had an active role in helping other departments from around the county organize and form the Sussex County Firemen's Association.
In the 1960s there were talks of expanding the department and moving the fire house from it's original location which is the present day Sussex County Library, to a new larger location. This new location would eventually be settled on it's present day location on Buckwheat Road sandwiched between High Street and Parker Street. At the time of completion the fire house looked very different.
The lounge was located downstairs near the fourth bay from the left. Additionally the kitchen that existed downstairs was extremely small. So, in the 1980s the department expanded their building yet again, adding the present day location of the kitchen and the Antique Museum to the building. Finally in the early 1990s the department expanded their building adding the lounge to it's present day location upstairs.
Today the Franklin Fire Department has over 30 volunteer members operating four fire engines. They continue to serve the residents of Franklin with the same honor and integrity that they did in 1911.
And they still have their original 1915 and 1926 American La France pumpers
which are fully restored as well as their hose carrier on a Stewart chassis.
The following links contain a Callboard article by Pete Eisele on the FFD and its antiques.
Adobe Reader is required to view it.