Police & Fire

Somerville Firefighters Pass Muster, Parade Down Main Street in Annual Tradition

Steve Duda brought two Belgian workhorses from his Brookvalley Farm in Carbondale, Pa. and hitched them to the antique 19th-century Somerville FD Steam pumper for yesterday's parade. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Somerville fire fighters march down Main Street during the borough's annual Fire Inspection and Parade, a tradition that is more than 100 years old. Credits: Rod Hirsch
The cast bronze Firefighters' Memorial on the lawn in front of Somerville Borough Hall. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Officers of the Somerville Fire Department inspect their equipment and firefighters prior to yesterday's parade down Main Street. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Firefighters wheel a hand pumper that pre-dates the Civil War in yesterday's parade. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Members of the Somerset County Police Pipes & Drums passes in front of Mannion's Pub and Restaurant on Main Street, Somerville. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Mayor Brian Gallagher, state Sen. Kip Bateman and members of the Somerville Borough Council salute the American flag during yesterday's ceremony at Borough Hall. Credits: Rod Hirsch
The line of march heads to the Somerset County 9-11 Memorial where firefighters honored the 343 firefighters who gave their lives at the World Trade Center in New York City. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher broke off from the line of march briefly to greet some young parade watchers. Credits: Rod Hirsch
County and local officials greet the firefighters as they drive past the reviewing stand on East Main Street. Credits: Rod Hirsch
More than a dozen pieces of firefighting and first aid equipment were featured in the parade. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Steve Duda brought two Belgian workhorses from his Brookvalley Farm in Carbondale, Pa. and hitched them to the antique 19th-century Somerville FD Steam pumper for yesterday's parade. Credits: Rod Hirsch

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The tap, tap, tap of a snare drum punctuated each step.

Mayor Brian Gallagher and members of the Borough Council, escorted by the officers of the borough’s fire department and accompanied by a drummer from the Somerset County Police Pipes & Drums, filed alongside dozens of firefighters and rescue squad members Saturday afternoon at the borough’s annual Firemen’s Inspection.

The Firemen’s Inspection is steeped in tradition, according to Gallagher. A 100-year-old borough ordinance requires that the governing body inspect the borough’s firefighters and equipment once each year to ensure their readiness, he said.

Sign Up for E-News

Dressed in full dress uniforms and wearing white gloves, the firefighters stood at attention in front of their trucks parked alongside Borough Hall on West Main Street, includingf Rescue 5, a 1942 fire engine with open cab that used to answer the call in Somerville. Now retired, Rescue 5 is the pride and joy of retired firefighter Richard O’Neil; the engine is used only in parades and other special events.

A ceremony at the Firemen Memorial on the lawn of Borough Hall preceded the inspection. The bell, which used to be rung to summon volunteer firefighters for duty, was cast in 1910 and bears the name of Mayor Charles Kenyon and Fire Chief Charles Hagstead.  A bronze life-size figure of a firefighter holding a rescued child in his arms stands atop the bell housing.

The Somerset County Police Pipes & Drums closed the ceremony with “Amazing Grace.”

A memorial wreath was placed alongside the Memorial afterwards.

The firefighters and rescue personnel made their way to their trucks for a parade down Main Street, led by a team of 1,600-pound Belgian horses pulling a late 19th-century Somerville FD steam engine behind them. The horses are owned by Steve Duda of Brookvalley Farm in Carbondale, Pa. who guided the horses down Main Street.

The line of march paused at the borough’s 9-11 Memorial at the corner of Main Street and North Bridge Street for a short ceremony honoring the firefighters who perished in the collapse of the World Trade Centers in New York City.

The parade continued on East Main Street past the reviewing stand, with state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Middlesex, Mercer, Hunterdon) joining Gallagher and members of the borough council to salute the firefighters.

In keeping with tradition, and as stipulated in the ordinance, the firefighters and first responders were joined by Gallagher and members of the council for a dinner at the Somerville Elks after the conclusion of the parade.

ugh’s 9-11 Memorial at the corner of Main Street and North Bridge Street for a short ceremony honoring the firefighters who perished in the collapse of the World Trade Centers in New York City.

 The parade continued on East Main Street past the reviewing stand, with Gallagher and members of the borough council saluting the firefighters. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Somerville

Montgomery Mayor Endorses Caliguire; Criticizes Zwicker Ticket Tactics

November 5, 2017

To the Editor:

This election, I am proud to support Montgomery’s own Mark Caliguire for New Jersey General Assembly. He is long-time resident of town, has a distinguished record of community service, and understands how to protect our exceptional quality of life.

Mark has served Montgomery for 14 years as a Township Committee member, mayor, and now a Somerset County Freeholder. He has ...

Somerville Christmas Tree Decorated, Wrapped in Lights, Ready for Santa's Magic Touch

November 15, 2017

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The stage is set for the official arrival of Santa Claus Nov. 25 with the borough's official Christmas tree decorated, with lights strung and ready to be lit on the Division Street pedestrian mall.

No snow yet, but with crisp temperatures and brisk winds blowing down Division Street, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas; a few merchants have already begun ...

Atlantic Health System Works with Pharmaceutical Company on Phase I Clinical Trial of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

November 16, 2017

Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage company and leader in the field of cancer metabolism-based therapeutics, announced today, the initiation of a Phase I clinical trial of CPI-613 in combination with chemotherapeutic agents, gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel, for patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. The study will be conducted in collaboration with Atlantic ...