HVFD sees upgrades
HAMMONTON—The Hammonton Volunteer Fire Department has had some recent upgrades in the last few months. Hammonton Chief Sean Macri discussed some new equipment, while also giving an update on the department as a whole. Hammonton Fire Companies No.1 and No.2 have been keeping busy answering calls and heading out to help the community.
“Just like any organization you can always do better but we’re getting the calls, we’ve had a lot of them so far, [we] had about 75 calls to date. We’re on pace for probably about 600 calls this year. That’ll dwindle in some months, and they’ll … start back up again … We provide mutual aid for the surrounding areas, they provide mutual aid for us as return … We haven’t had any really horrific incidences to report. We’ve had some bad accidents but you know minor injuries, and we haven’t really had any fires, knock on wood,” Macri said.
The fire department has been answering calls, and also training consistently. To keep the department ready and alert, training sessions are necessary to the daily routine. Keeping an updated training routine helps to keep the volunteers prepared for anything.
“We don’t ever stop training; that’s just the way of life. Whether it’s sending out training articles, whether it’s just a discussion … We’ve been training since day one. We really don’t stop, just kind of adjust to the weather. So since it’s been cold, we’ve been inside doing training. Recently we purchased a Gen 4 harness, which will help … One of the things that was required for anyone to have it was to go through a class on how to use it, so we did that also,” Macri said.
While keeping busy, the fire department has also been getting upgraded equipment as well. These upgrades help to keep the town and community safe.
“We have been working since I’ve been chief in 2018, to just try and update everything. It’s tough you know you have certain standards ... We’ve been working with the mayor and council. They’ve been very receptive to new ideas, and we’ve been working together to try and crack some of that … We’re able to start upgrading equipment, we update our equipment quite regularly now, just because there’s always new standards, there’s new technology that comes out. We did recently purchase a utility pickup, to replace a 1984 that we had at station two … It’s going to serve to help for storm response to help with the smaller vehicles … We just were approved by the town to purchase an engine which acts kind of like a Swiss army knife … It’s going to do a little bit of everything … just so we can get people out there quickly and do it, it’s going to serve as a precursor to the heavy rescue … that’s going to replace an engine out of station two also,” Macri said.
The fire department is completely voluntary and almost acts like a second job to many of the volunteers.
“We’re a 100 percent volunteer. A lot of these guys have full-time jobs if not two jobs, plus family and stuff like that,” Macri said.