The Franklin Fire 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.) as the New Jersey Zinc Company Fire Department of Franklin, N.J. For a number of years they used the store room as a meeting place for Department meetings. The original equipment consisted of three hand-drawn hose carts, and one hand-drawn ladder cart. This equipment was furnished by The New Jersey Zinc Company, as was the hose, up to the time Franklin was incorporated as a Borough on March 18th 1913. After the formation of the Borough and the Fire Department being under the control of the Mayor and Council in 1913, the equipment was turned over to the Borough, and the Fire Department came under Municipal control. The organization became a member of the New Jersey Firemen's Association in 1915.
Due to the growth of the town, in 1916 it became necessary to have more efficient apparatus and an American La France pumper was purchased.
The First chauffeurs were; Frankl Straulina, Andrew Salvas, Daniel Van Auken and Francis X. Hyde.
In 1920 Fire Departments in Sussex County formed the Sussex County Firemen's Association, which the Franklin Fire Department was active in helping to organize.
Prior to the 1960's the fire department remained at its original location on Main Street (current location of the Library) and there were talks of expanding the department to a new location.
In 1963 they completed building the new fire house at the intersection of Buckwheat Road and High Street, although it did not look like it does now. The present day Bar/lounge, Antique Museum and Kitchen were not there. The bar was downstairs near the far right bay (Fourth bay from the left), which is now the Line Officer's Room. And The Kitchen was upstairs in the Bingo Hall and was extremely small.
In 1980's the FFD expanded their building adding the present day Kitchen and the Antique Museum to the fire house store the antique trucks.
In the early 90's the FFD expanded their building once again adding the bar/lounge to its present day location.
Today the Franklin Fire Department currently has over 30 active firefighters and four apparatus.
And they still have their original 1915 and 1926 American La France pumpers 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. The articles can be found HERE and HERE
Adobe Reader is required to view it.