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Gloucester Township's Newest Fire Engine to be Placed in Service

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ --On Friday, August 13, Gloucester Township’s newest fire engine will be placed in service with a traditional housing and “Push-In Ceremony”. The new engine was designed by a committee of fire officers, firefighters and elected Fire Commissioners from the Chews Landing Screen Shot 2021-08-11 at 21.29.47 and Blackwood Fire Districts. Designated as Squad 88, the new fire truck has been assigned to Gloucester Township’s first ever 24/7/365 on duty engine company. Squad 88 will respond to approximately 1,000 fire and emergency calls annually, primarily in Gloucester Township Fire Districts 2 and 4 while also responding to automatic and mutual aid calls in Gloucester Township’s other four (4) fire districts as well as other surrounding communities.

The new engine, a 2021 Pierce 1500 GPM rescue pumper, is the culmination of nearly four (4) years of joint efforts by firefighters and the Boards of Fire Commissioners in the Chews Landing and Blackwood Fire Districts. In early 2018, the Boards of Fire Commissioners in both districts began the planning process to organize an engine company that would be staffed by on duty full time firefighters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The new company was placed in service effective 8:00am on July 8, 2018. The first engine assigned to the new company was a 14 year old pumper truck. The new Squad 88 replaces the now 17year old pumper, which has been placed in reserve to fill in when other front-line apparatus from Chews Landing or Blackwood are out of service.

The Push-In Ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s when fire departments used hand-drawn pumpers and horse-drawn equipment. Upon returning to the firehouse after a call, the horses could not easily back the equipment into the station. They were disconnected from the fire equipment and firefighters would push the equipment back in to the bays themselves.

The ceremony will begin at 6:00 pm at Squad 88’s firehouse located at 1450 Blackwood Clementon Road in Gloucester Township. The ceremony will conclude after an apparatus procession to the Chews Landing Firehouse located at 43 Somerdale Road in Gloucester Township.