Avon-By-The-Sea Volunteer Fire Department
Santa on the Fire Truck, Thursday, December 23rd
Al Virgilio, Chief
Brad Child, Deputy Chief
Joe Gentile, Captain
Mike O'Brien, First Lieutenant
David Hoecker, Second Lieutenant
Harry Cuttrell, President
Kenneth Burke, Vice President
Pat Duffy, Secretary
Cal Talmage, Treasurer
Mike O'Brien, Financial Secretary
Karl Klug, Membership Secretary
On March 6th, 1901 the Avon Fire Department was formed and approved by the Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey. In 2001, the Avon Fire Department celebrated its 100th Anniversary of services to the Community as a volunteer fire department.
This department was established in 1901 at the request of residents of Avon after a fire had destroyed Thomson’s Ice Plant. The department had 27 members at this time and before the end of the year had its first piece of equipment, a 100-gallon horse-pulled Halloway Chemical Fire Wagon that was housed in a newly built firehouse on Norwood Ave. The first chief of the department, Alex Mullin, was also the Mayor. Sometime around 1917 the first motorized fire vehicle was purchased and at the same time a new firehouse was constructed on Main Street.
In 1967 the Avon Fire Department moved into a new firehouse at 301 Main Street, which currently houses the three vehicles owned by the department. They include a Seagrave 100-foot Aerial Ladder Truck and two 1250 gallon/min KME Pumper Trucks.
There are currently 80 members in the Avon Fire Department, all volunteers. Of the 80, 42 are still active in fighting fires. In an average year they will answer approximately 100 fire calls at any time of the day or night. Most of the fire calls are in Avon, but the department does assist in neighboring towns when called upon to do so.
The typical Avon Fireman is in their 30’s and 40’s, while we still have some active at about age 65. They come from a variety of backgrounds, including business men, teachers, electricians, plumbers, Avon Borough employees, as well as other occupations, even some who are retired. The current list of active firefighters also includes 8 fathers whose sons are members.