BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights Fire Department welcomed their brand spanking new Pierce Rescue Pumper last week at headquarters. The entire volunteer squad was on hand to mount the equipment, install radios and load the hoses to prepare the new Squad Truck for duty.

The firefighters received immediate training on operations and how to pump the truck.

Keeping with Department tradition, Fire Chief Tony Padovano made sure the shiny silver bell was anchored to the front of this new truck. Additionally, an emblem was adhered to the truck in honor of Joe Imbimbo, an active firefighter who passed away in 2016. Imbimbo comes from a long line of Berkeley Heights firefighters, including his grandfather, who was a charter member. 

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"This is referred to as a Squad," Fire Chief Tony Padovano told TAPinto. He explained that this truck is an enhanced Engine company. "Engines are water -- this will have Ladder Truck equipment on it, it will have a Jaws of Life." -- Basically, this new Squad truck combines "Truck Company Tools" and "Rescue Company Tools," giving the Squad truck more flexibility with multiple uses. 

The difference between the retired 1995 pumper and the new Squad truck include: large compartments to store equipment and air-conditioning in the crew cab, Deputy Chief Jim Hopkins had previously told TAPinto.  "Traditionally, pumpers just had hoses on them," said Hopkins, as well as some water.  They had few compartments for equipment. That has changed, because different duties have been added to the department's list of responsibilities, he added.

The community will be invited to a Wet Down ceremony and celebration scheduled for October. 

For more information about the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Fire Department, visit their website at www.berkeleyheightsfire.com/ and "Like" their Facebook Page

Related article: Wait Begins For Berkeley Heights' New Rescue Pumper