|The first fire apparatus acquired by the Wildwood Crest Fire Company No. 1 was a hand-drawn hose cart purchased in early 1911. This 1915 photo shows the hose cart with two long playpipes mounted on the front. The playpipes are still owned by the company and are displayed in the new fire company museum.
In 1912, a hand-drawn ladder cart was built by Mr. Cal Augan. (Photo taken in 1915.) The hose cart and the ladder cart were housed in the first firehouse, a garage attached to the first borough hall at 6006 Pacific Avenue.
The first motorized apparatus, a chemical & hose wagon, was added in 1915. It is believed that this truck served until the 1930s, but the company has no photos of it. A new 2-bay firehouse was built in 1925 at 6001 Pacific Avenue.
In 1927, a 1000 gallon-per-minute American LaFrance pumper was purchased. This truck was retired in 1962, but is still owned by the company. It became known as "Old Betsy" and was completely refurbished in 2000. Old Betsy is currently displayed in the fire company's museum bay at the firehouse.
In early 1935, a new Dodge chassis was purchased for $500.00, and two members, Thomas Young and Edward Hendricks, added the body. The company's new chemical and ladder truck was housed with Old Betsy. Unfortunately, the company has no photo of this truck, which was in service until 1952, when it was replaced by a new American LaFrance 750 gallon-per-minute Quad ladder truck (F48).
A building boom in the late 1950s and early 1960's caused the company to acquire additional fire-fighting equipment.
In 1959, a 1000 gpm American LaFrance pumper (F49) was added, and in 1962, a 1250 gpm American LaFrance pumper (F47) 'replaced' "Old Betsy", which was retained by the company as an antique. These two new apparatus forced the construction of a 2-bay addition to the firehouse in 1962.
In 1964, a parade and truck housing celebrated the acquisition of the two new pumpers.
A year later, a 1965 International step van (F45) was added and placed in service to carry additional equipment and turnout gear.
In 1968, expansion continued with the addition of a 80-ft Aero-Chief platform truck (F46), also an American LaFrance. The new snorkel-type apparatus was housed following a firemen's parade and celebration.
At this time, the company had six trucks, including "Old Betsy", and the expanded firehouse was again overflowing.
1973 saw the replacement of the '52 quad with a new American LaFrance 1500 gpm 'Mini-Quad' - so-called because, like a quad, it carried additional ground ladders but on a smaller pumper-sized body. This was the first diesel-powered apparatus, and also the first automatic transmission. Under a new county numbering systems, this new F48 became F438.
Updating continued in 1978 with the purchase of a 1500 gpm American LaFrance pumper (F439) to replace the 1959 LaFrance. The 1978 American LaFrance was retired in 2001 and sold to a private collector in Louisiana.
In 1993, a Zodiak inflatible boat was placed in service, initially for use on flooded streets. Later, a 25hp motor and other equipment was added to expand the craft's capabilities in the back bays.
In 1984, another American LaFrance 1500 g.p.m. pumper (F437) was purchased to replace the 1962 LaFrance. The 1984 LaFrance was retired in 2013 and donated to the Cape May County Fire Training Academy.
Current Apparatus (1993-Present)
The 1965 step van was replaced in 1993 with an E-One Special Service Truck. (SS475). The '73 Mini-Quad was replaced in 1999 by an E-One 1500 g.p.m. pumper (E438), and both the '69 snorkel and the '78 pumper were replaced by a 2000 E-One/Bronto Aerial Platform (Tower 460) with a 91-ft. boom, 1500 g.p.m. pump and 500 gallon water tank. In 2007, a new AB Inflatables 14-ft. inflatable boat replaced the 1993 Zodiak, which was taken out of service in 2004. Also in 2007, a 1993 Chevrolet Suburban (Utility 410) was purchased from Stone Harbor Fire Company and used as a utility vehicle until it was retired in 2013. In 2007, a 2001 E-One 75-ft. Quint (E439) was purchased from McKinley Fire Company in Abington Township, PA.
The current apparatus are pictured in the left column of each page on this website.