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Fire Task Force Handles Hot Topics for Fort Closure

Local fire officials meet to make pre-fire plans before the fort closes.

Even a robust volunteer fire crew and a shiny red engine can't put out a blaze if its hoses can't connect to the hydrant. That's the scenario that local officials want to avoid at Fort Monmouth where fire fighters use hydrants with different threads than those of the surrounding boroughs.

Last week, Rick Harrison, program officer for the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), hosted a tactical meeting with local fire officials to work on this and other burning fire matters at the fort, which is set to close in two months.

The hydrant issue is just one of the important details that has had the mayors of Oceanport, Eatontown and Tinton Falls anxious as they are set to see their boroughs, and responsibility to respond in an emergency, grow by a collective 1,100-plus acres.

Eatontown Mayor Gerry Tarantolo of his concern about the need for adaptors and who would foot the bill.

“We don’t need them in Eatontown, but Fort Monmouth does, who pays for it?” the mayor asked.

Following the fire task force meeting, Harrison said that the Army had agreed to provide the adaptors.

There are still a host of issues that the fire task force is working to resolve with the Army and local fire officials, Harrison said.

Here are a few:

  • Labeling buildings that are marked for demolition so local firefighters don't risk life and limb should the buildings burn.
  • Detailing which buildings will have power, alarms and fire suppression systems.
  • Equipping buildings to be reused with Knox Box rapid entry systems.
  • Securing accurate maps.
  • Developing communication plans.
  • Devising a plan to allow access for volunteers vehicles.
  • Deliniating responsibility for fire inspections before properties are sold.

Harrison said that the task force will continue to meet regularly to attend to these and other important details as the fort closure rapidly approaches.

"We've got to get down into the weeds and get these things resolved," he said.

jonathan ryan July 14, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Excuse me. Where are you getting this information from? The local fire departments have had the adapters for the tyrants within the forts property for years as the local towns have backed up the fort in the past. Please find the correct information before posting otherwise you should rename this website the absury park press. As for issues that need to be resolved, how about purchasing new apparatus so the towns can fight the larger fire load with the proper gpm. How about adequate quanity of hose on the current apparatus for response into the fort. How about purchasing the specialty equipment and providing the training to replace the services that the fort used to provide such as hazmat, Rit, confined space, collapse rescue. These are the things that should be addressed and not do we have to buy adapters that we already have.
Joe Buff July 16, 2011 at 04:43 PM
So it's the town’s responsibility to purchase new fire apparatus for the fire departments that failed to originally get what they needed in better economic times to adequately fight fires? We have all known including local fire people for 6 years the Fort was closing but here we are less then 3 months away and these issues come to light
John Carroll July 17, 2011 at 01:41 AM
Hey Joe, these issues have been on our priority list for quite some time with little or no information until just the last few weeks. Rest assured your local firemen are prepared for what ever comes our way. The information we as firemen need is for our own protection. Risk and responsibility is nothing to be taken lightly. Our fire officials work hard to make sure you and your family are safe. So when you hear the engines go past your house at 3am roll over and thank God somebody is out there getting it done.By the way ,I couldnt care less if the entire place burns down as long as the men who are fighting the fire arent risking their butts for nothing. J.Carroll ex-chief OFD

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