History of the Schooley's Mountain Fire Protection Association
When a barn caught fire and burned down in August 1951 at the Liebenezel Mission home, the debate for the village of Schooley's Mountain to establish a fire company once again came to the forefront of town discussion.
At the steps of the Presbyterian Church, eleven of the town's people met and discussed the problem of fire protection for the village and the fact that the fire companies located in Long Valley and Hackettstown were just simply too far for quick help in the event of fire. So by the end of August 1951, in the basement of the church, it was voted to create a separate fire company for the needs of the Schooley's Mountain community. It's main purpose was to protect life and property from fire for the village. It's secondary purpose was to help the surrounding communities of Long Valley and Hackettstown in the event of a fire. It was at this point that the Schooley's Mountain Fire Protective Association was born.
The original fire house was located on Route 24 across from the Liberty Tree at Flocktown Road and was once an old ice house. With committed charter members, the ice house was renovated for fire fighting equipment. This was nothing more than buckets, barrels, and a used brush truck from Chester. By 1956, the Fire Company relocated to it's current location on Route 24 with a USA pumper for response. As the Company grew, it continued to purchase updated equipment with it's own funds which were generously donated by the local residents.
Nearly 70 years have passed since the establishment of the Fire Company. In that time a lot has changed. More advanced equipment has been developed for fire protection, the once small village is now highly populated with over 17,000 residents, and the current firehouse has gone through extensive renovations and expansion to meet the needs of a continuously growing community. The Company became part of the Washington Township Fire Department, along with Long Valley and Fairmount Fire Companies, in 1984. The equipment is now purchased and owned by the Township, but housed, maintained and operated by the Fire Company. The Fire Company is not only responsible for fire protection, but for public emergencies, hazardous materials response, confined space rescue, high angle rope rescue, and carbon monoxide alerts as well. This is a great deal more than what was originally envisioned when the Company was first formed.
Two factors have remained constant over the years. The belief that quality fire protection will always be needed for the community no matter how big it gets, and that a sufficient number of dedicated residents from all walks of life will volunteer large amounts of time to uphold that belief by participating in continuous education, drills, fund raising, and responding to alarms 24 hours a day for nothing more than the satisfaction of a job well done. This is the purpose of the Schooley's Mountain Fire Protection Association: the protection of life and property for all in the community.