In 1916, there was a fire in Joe Clark's lumber yard in Belford, New
Jersey. A bucket brigade was formed which later grew into the present Belford Engine Fire Company No. 1.
In February of that year, a group of citizens decided that an organized
fire company was needed in the community and a campaign was started to raise funds for the purchase of a fire truck.
The first meeting was held on July 24, 1916. The following is the minutes
of that meeting:
July 24, 1916
of a meeting called for the purpose of organizing a Fire Company.
On motion Lester C. Walling was elected Temporary Chairman.
On motion regularly carried, the company be known as Belford Chemical Engine Company No. 1.
On motion the following officers were
nominated and elected:
Pres. Joseph R. Hyers; V.P. Harold D. Willett; Secretary Joseph Halliday; Treas. Henry B. Clayton;
Capt. Lester C. Walling; Lieut. George Halsey; 2nd Lt. Matthias Lehman; Trustee 3 years F. Yarnell; 2 years R.B. Eastmond;
1 year Albert Maxson.
Motion regularly carried the night of meeting to be the second Thursday of each month.
Motion regularly carried that the initiation
fee be one dollar ($1.00) for each member on motion. The following committees were appointed: (Incorporation) C.E. Runyon,
F.P. Yarnell, J.R. Hyers.
No other business, the meeting adjourned to meet next on July 31, 1916.
The company was incorporated on August 14, 1916 and was the third organized company in the M.T.F.D.
The first truck was purchased from the W.S. Nott Company, with a Victor
Motor Chemical Engine, in November of 1916. The next truck was a Hudson. In 1927, the company purchased a Sanford 500 gallon
pumper. In 1948, a 750 gallon Mack Fire Truck was purchased to replace the 500 gallon Sanford.
In 1957, the fire house was altered from a one bay to a two bay, two
story stucco building because of a fire on the second floor. In 1962, a 1000 gallon Hahn fire truck was purchased with all
of the latest equipment. In 1971, a 1000 gallon Hahn fire truck was purchased to meet the company's need for the next decade.
It was delivered to the premises in August of 1973.
In 1976, the 1948 Mack pumper became a legend within the company. The members voted to have it painted red, white,
and blue to celebrate America's Bi-centennial. The truck became one of only 3 on the East Coast. In compliance with department
regulations, the truck was re-painted "fire engine red".
Also in 1976, Belford Engine responded to 400 fire calls, the most in the Township for that year.
In 1977, the company celebrated 60 years of service to the community and won the Department Inspection Trophy for best fire
In 1998, Belford Engine dedicated a new
fire house with proper ceremonies. The new building is pictured below.
Belford Engine is majorly financed by annual contribution drives, various fund raising
events, and with assistance by the Middletown Township. The company regards itself as "up-to-date fire equipment, to
handle all types of fires in the Township and above average turn out of manpower for a fire"