The Nutley Fire Department began as most fire departments in America as an all volunteer fire department. During the early 1900’s the governing body of Nutley decided to hire a few men to man the fire houses and maintain the equipment and care for the horses that pulled the fire wagons.
Those few paid men, as they were known back then, grew into what is now known as Headquarters Company. Headquarters Company consists of the career firefighters who respond with Engine 1 and Ladder 1 from the Chestnut Street Fire House. In addition to the shift personnel the fire prevention inspectors and administrative office is located at the Chestnut Street Fire House.
There are three volunteer engine companies that also serve the residents of Nutley. Hose 1 is located on Park Avenue near Wayne Place. Hose 2 is located on High Street near Bloomfield Avenue and Yantacaw Engine Company 4 is located at Fire Headquarters on Chestnut Street.
Headquarters Company under the command of a Captain and Lieutenant operate an engine and a ladder truck and perform firefighting duties. In addition under the direction of Commissioner Alphonse Petracco the career firefighters were trained to respond to medical emergencies and since march of 2009 have begun responding as ‘first responders’ to medical calls in the township when an ambulance is not immediately available or if the Nutley Volunteer Emergency and Rescue Squad needs additional assistance. In the fall of 2009 Director Petracco authorized the purchase of hydraulic rescue tools, commonly referred to as the Jaws of Life for the career personnel to assist them in their mission of serving the residents of the Township.
The career firefighters also perform inspections of businesses throughout the town and visit all Nutley schools during Fire Prevention Month in October of each year. In addition we visit the pre schools a second time in February during Burn Awareness Week. The Fire Department hosts an open house every October during Fire Prevention Week. The fire prevention bureau also visits the high school each spring to talk to the graduating seniors about dorm fire safety so those students who go on to college understand the dangers they may face while away at college.
Today the Fire Department is led by a volunteer chief and career Deputy Fire Chief. The career officers serve as tour commanders are the initial Incident Commanders. The volunteer companies are led by an Assistant Chief, Foreman and Assistant Foreman.
The Nutley FMBA recognizes that the utilization of a combination career and volunteer fire department provides the residents of Nutley with a valuable yet cost efficient way of providing fire protection. The rapid response of career firefighters and the back up of additional volunteers. This rapid response along with our public education programs in the schools and community has clearly led to a reduction in fire damage and a dramatic reduction in fire injuries over the years.