Not everyone at Monmouth County Fair knew, but one little snapshot last week encapsulated not only a win, but generations’ worth of Fair Haven Fire Department (FHFD) tradition.
The department took third place for its showing of Engine 1373 at the fair’s annual Hose & Ladder Competition last week on July 24.
The team — Chief Matt Bufano, Chief and Pump Operator Nick Lenczyk, Chris Cerruti, Mike Wiehl, Dan Maloney and Matt DePonti — was joined by a couple of little family “members in training.”
Call it a mindful moment — a moment to remember that this sort of community volunteerism runs all in the Fair Haven family. Most of the adult members, children of longtime FHFD members, are carrying the torch for their parents and grandparents, in Fair Haven and elsewhere.
That just may be the bigger prize. Many of these families have remained friends through the years. It’s another of Fair Haven’s families. The pictured little ones may just end up being line officers with their own fire company stories to tell about mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, the firehouse, the fair, the sticky little cotton candy fingers, the clam down on the fried seafood, the chowder’s secret, the hush of the happy sighs, the scary ride, the lulling whirl. The ride. And, they will likely always know one another because of that ride they shared. The ride that always brings them back home.
Yes, those shiny white Fair Haven firetrucks sure do attract a lot of awards. Fair Haven Fire Department members are proud — not just about those trucks. That pride is more about the ride. Hang on tight to it.
The sound of sirens, to a fire company child, no matter how far from home they’ve traveled, brings them right back to their front porch, their back yard … their home. Their heart.
Congrats FHFD! Enjoy the ride!