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.