Flanders Fire Co. #1 & Rescue Squad History
This early road map illustrates the roads that traveled through Mt. Olive
1760 - William Allen of Philadelphia sold the land for what was to become Flanders to Jazeb Heaton of Roxbury.
1810 - Flanders was connected by Pike Road to Morristown, Easton and cities as distant as Boston.
1822- A post Office was established as the logging, mines, rails and mills became prevalent.
1850- At this point, Flanders was a prosperous and growing community with churches, stores, mills, and businesses. There were also between 70 and 100 farms in the area as well.
1922 - The post office had become a popular local meeting place. Residents would gather here to await the daily mail delivery and it was during one of these sessions that the subject of a fire company was raised. Up to this point if you had a fire, the best you could hope for would be a "bucket brigade" made up of your neighbors.
Organization of a Fire Department
June 8, 1923 - Seven residents,Howard and Ed McLaughlin, William Marvin, E.C. Ted Ashley, George Ericson, Watson McPeek, and Augustus Stark, officially established Flanders Fire Co. #1. Ed McLaughlin was named Chief and meetings were held by the light of oil lamps in Ed’s chicken coup. Eventually Ed’s barn was used to store the company’s equipment and his house served as headquarters.
October 1923 - The first fire truck available to the town, a Brockway Torpedo, was converted from a chemical car into a water carrier. The rim of a steam engine’s wheel was hung up on Main Street and a sledgehammer was used to strike it when help was needed.
1928 - The fire company was expanding, but still was stationed out of the old chicken coup. With the completion of the newer school at 26 Main Street, the old schoolhouse opposite became vacant and was made available to the fire company. The structure, which was originally built in 1855, was remodeled by the firemen to house the fire truck and equipment.
(1920's) The original school house was replaced by a newer school across the street, allowing the fire company to move in.
1936 - The township bought a Dodge pumper to replace the old "Torpedo" fire engine.
1938 - A group of nine women decided that the time had come for a Ladies Auxiliary to be formed in order to aid the firemen. They elected Hazel Tinc as Chairwomen, with Mrs. Erickson as her assistant. Ruth Gray served as Secretary and Ruth Clawson was the first Treasurer. Their first official act was to solicit food donations from the local farms in order to prepare and serve chicken dinner to the members of the Fire Company.
1940 - A rescue squad was added to the fire company in order to serve the residents of Flanders.
1942 - The company operated two engines and a rescue truck. In 1950 the rescue duties were officially recognized and Rescue Squad was added to the company’s name. Randolph Township donated an ambulance, known as a "cheesebox" due to its shape, to Flanders. This was replaced in 1951 by a 1949 Studebaker, which in turn was replaced by a blue Cadillac in 1958.
(1930's) At this point, the fire department operated with two bays and a meeting hall upstairs.
Late 1900's - Up to this point, several fires ravaged Flanders and destroyed building like hotels, churches and barns. As time went on, the fire company progressed in terms of technology and methods.
(1953) A fire burned the Flanders Hotel and Tavern to the ground.
(1988) A fire, which started in the garage of a residence near the old airport, was stopped before it could do significant damage to the house.
Early 2000's - An addition was put on the firehouse in order to house a 2003 E-One 95' Tower, as well as include offices and lockers for storage and management.
2011 - Asst. Chief Thomas Shields passes away suddenly after a mid-day call. Up to this point, the fire company had never experienced such a loss. To this day, a memorial plaque is placed between the bay doors of Engine 95 and Tower 96.
2015 - The town up to this point had a constant increase in population, bringing in a higher volume of calls. An average of 900 calls a year keeps the fire and rescue crews busy all year round.