The Millington Volunteer Fire Company is the oldest fire company in Long Hill Township having been formed a few months before its sister company in Stirling in1913. Although the 2 companies are separate and independent entities, they comprise the Long Hill Township Fire Department and, under its auspices, respond together to all Township emergencies and participate in Mutual Aid to surrounding towns. Despite the dramatic changes in firefighting technology, techniques and equipment that have occurred over the last 107 years, Millington’s rich history of dedication to the Township is indelibly marked by the unchanging selfless devotion to service and bravery that has been, and is, the hallmark of the legions of men and women who have passed through the doors of the firehouse at 1891 Long Hill Road.
The company was formed with just 22 men and a single horse drawn wagon. In those early days, Mr. Thomas, a local building contractor (who also erected the Millington Firehouse), provided the horse. It was his job to bring the wagon to the site of the fire at the sound of the fire gong (still on display outside the firehouse). From the vantage point of these humble beginnings, it is awe inspiring to view the burgeoning ranks of specialty-trained members and technologically advanced apparatus and equipment that today make up the modern company. And such progress is a good thing because in any year, whether in sun, sleet, snow, rain or a mixture thereof, Millington members can expect to respond throughout the Township to at least 200 calls.
In addition to its boat and hazmat trailer, today’s fleet of Millington response apparatus is a far cry from Mr. Thomas’ horse and wagon clattering through the dust filled streets of legend. The E-One 75 Quint Ladder Truck has been an important and staple component of Millington response since its purchase in 1992. The truck’s versatility on the fire ground has led to it being called the “Swiss army knife of the fire service” because it can serve as an engine as well as an aerial apparatus. Likewise,
Millington’s E-One engine carries a Compressed Air Foam System that “makes water wetter” by delivering water mixed with foam and compressed air for more efficient fire attack. Millington’s Brush Truck, purchased with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, not only carries foam but also has off-road capabilities and a remote-controlled deck gun that allow a rapid attack in otherwise inaccessible terrain. It is particularly suited to the topography characteristic of the Township’s semi-rural environs.
Unlike those 22 original members who faced up to raging fires with no specialist training, today’s firefighters have to meet rigorous State-imposed standards of performance and be capable of performing a range of other specialized activities. Millington firefighters are constantly exhorted to train like their life depends on it, because it probably does! Members also possess specialized training in areas like ice rescue, rapid intervention, and advanced foam application (on call for response to large scale disasters in Morris and Union Counties).
Firefighting is not a cheap endeavor and Millington is grateful to the Township government and residents for their support and encouragement. Fundraising activities are integral to firehouse culture – as early as 1918 funds were raised on Friday nights with the firehouse doubling as a movie theater to show films provided by Paramount Pictures. Fundraising enables the company to purchase equipment, maintain buildings and vehicles, conduct fire awareness and education programs, and train. We hope to see everyone at our annual events – whether the Food Truck Festival, Octoberfest,
Pumpkin Sale or Holiday Party you will always be welcomed with good cheer and leave with lasting memories and perhaps a few new friends. Just to complete a shameless PR pitch the company also reminds you that, just like its sister company, it is 100% volunteer. Members are its life blood and you are encouraged to participate in the finest volunteer tradition in the US. While aspiring firefighters are always welcome, we also need individuals with “back room” skills. A commitment of as little as 5 hours per month is all that is asked. Feel free to stop by the firehouse any Thursday of the year after
7.30 pm. You’ll always find us there washing, polishing, training and having the time of our lives. We’ll do more than keep the light on for you, there will a stylish new Nomex suit in a gear locker with your name on it if you so wish and a lifetime of friendship and camaraderie that will be yours whether you want it or not.