In January of 2011 contract was signed to start construction of Colonia First Aid Squad building, renovation of bays on first floor and adding a second floor for living quarters. First floor doors to be raised and widen with two bays being drive through. The squad will run out of fire station during construction.
In December of 2010 the Fire Commissioners purchased a 2008 Ford450/P&L Custom Ambulance from the Avenel/Colonia First Aid Squad for $100,000.00 to replace 1998 ambulance. Avenel/Colonia was selling off equipment to reduce their debt. Lee's Auto Body in Avenel repainted and re-lettered ambulance for Commissioners at no cost to them.
In 2009 fire department received a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for a diesel exhaust system for our house two(Colonia First Aid Building) for $26,125. A second FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant(AFG) in 2009 was awarded to fire department for computers for all the fire apparatus for $35,000.
In March of 2008 the Fire Commissioners purchased a new 2007 E-One Rescue Typhoon X Rescue with 20' walk around box with some new rescue tools and other equipment. The cost of rescue with equipment was three hundred ninety thousand five hundred In 2007 and again in 2008 the Colonia Fire Department helped cover the city of New Brunswick for a twelve hour shift while they attended a funeral of one of their own.
In 2007 the Chief's office, stairway, hallway, and elevator entrance way were remodeled, and a new sound system installed in hall.
In 2006 the fire boxes were removed due to lost of reliability and cost of bringing system back up to par. The decision was made based on the fact that almost everyone has access to a phone or cellphone.
In 2005 the Township of Woodbridge will be starting the process of going to a trunked radio system for the township. This will include police, fire, ems, and other municipal departments. It will take about three years to get it up and running.
In 2004 the township Haz-Mat Team was disbanded in October of that year for lack of support from the districts, lack of calls and lack of response from the members. The team was in service for eighteen years to give support to the township working with the County Haz-Mat team. The Haz-Mat team covered the whole township except for fire district #1, because of a union issue. The Woodbridge career fire fighters were in the same union as the county haz-mat team.
In 2003 we took delivery of a new Spartan/Emergency-One 2000 G.P.M. single stage pumper, with a750 gallon booster tank, 50 gallon foam tank, 10 man cab, Wilbur light tower, 15000 hydrogenerator, 7 pre connects. The cost of this engine was Three Hundred Eighty-Eight Thousand Dollars.
In 2002 the addition to the firehouse was completed with two bays and office space up stairs. At cost of three hundred thousand dollars. We also did away with Rahway EMS doing the day calls and we started paying for EMS service to the Colonia EMS for daytime coverage.
In 2000 we were given okay to start addition on building. We bought more rescue tools from Hurst, a synmo pack, ram extensions, and a multipurpose tool (Maverick Tool).
Now in 1998, the company looks toward to the twenty- first century and the challenges ahead such as: better equipment, training, and knowledge of our job.
In 1990 the first enclosed pumper was purchased. It was a 1990 Emergency-One with a 1500 g.p.m. pump, 750 gallon booster tank, 50 gallon foam tank, 10 man Spartan Eurospace cab, diesel engine, automatic transmission, 8 preconnected hand lines seven 2' and one 3' lines. A Wilbur light tower was added in 1994.
In 1982 the fire school was changed to the Woodbridge Township Fire Academy, with Rich Anderson taking over the school. Rich was a fire officer in Colonia at the time. Rich was responsible for the changes which the state finally adopted. Our Fire Fighter 1 & 2 program was established and running when the state came out with theirs. We would train in different firehouses and then go to Burlington County Fire Academy for the live burns twice a year.
In 1972, the fire department responded to the Rahway (Avenel) prison riots where the utility truck spent the next twenty-four hours in steady sleet. As a result, the fire department realized the need for an enclosed truck to carry our equipment. So, they purchased a G.M.C. step van to replace the International in 1973.
The old firehouse was getting very small so the commissioners started planning for a new one, which was completed in 1966. The new building had three bays and a large hall on the second floor. The cost of the building was one hundred fifty thousand dollars. In addition, a new pumper was ordered and arrived in 1969.
However, another fire engine rotted away in the firehouse until in 1956, the VFW bought the property because the new fire department had never paid for the land. So, the VFW had to pay the original owner the three hundred dollars owed.
Between 1946 and 1951, the two fire companies competed for the fire calls, usually racing each other to answer the calls. But in 1951, the commissioner who did not go to the new fire department attempted to get the town council to abolish the fire district and the fire commissioners.
Matters with the fire department were okay until 1946 when a split arose in the rank and file. There was friction between two of the fire commissioners and an incident at the Colonia Civic Club between these two commissioners brought to a head all the friction between the commissioners.
The Colonia Volunteer Chemical Hook & Ladder Company was established in April 1943, with thirty volunteers. In 1943 there had been eleven fire departments in the township already. Carteret had split from the township and two other fire departments had closed.