Tag Archives: Fair Haven Fire Department

Focus: Fair Haven Fire Department’s Triple Wetdown

Call it a christening of sorts — a wetdown. It’s the traditional ceremony celebrating new trucks and honoring the retired ones by hosing them down, the drivers of the old ones turning over the hose to the new.

And the Fair Haven Fire Department Triple Wetdown Dedication did just that on Sunday to celebrate the arrival of a new (1372 Mack) truck and two command vehicles (1366 and 1355), a fire chief’s command and first responder command vehicle. The old 1372 was retired after 41 years of service.

The celebration is a grand one in fire company tradition. In addition to the wetdown rite of passage, there’s a community party with music, food and drink and fire departments from all over joining in the welcoming of the new and retiring of the old.

Take a look … (Be sure to CLICK on each pic to enlarge!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Retro Fair Haven Fire Department Installation Dinners

Photos by Kathy Robbins … Slideshow by Elaine Van Develde

The Fair Haven Fire Department recently had its Installation Dinner. Every year, traditionally on the Saturday after the New Year, new line officers are officially installed and honored and outgoing officers and members are honored in a thank you dinner dance — a festive gathering for good times and the making of milestone moments.

Our Retro Pic of the Day today has turned into several retro pics in a slide show honoring the Fair Haven Fire Department’s Installation Dinners of the past.

A special thank you to Kathy Robbins, who provided all the photos!

Just click the center arrow and then the bottom right icon to enlarge. Enjoy! And congrats and thank you to all the members of the Fair Haven Fire Department’s Fire Company, First Aid Squad, Fire Police and Ladies’ Auxiliary.  RIP to those in this slideshow who have passed.

Focus: New Year’s Day Fun at Fair Haven Firehouse

It’s a first day of the new year tradition.

Fire and first aid companies reorganize, naming new line officers. And festivities take hold at fire houses all over.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect made it to Fair Haven where there were a lot of familiar faces from all around the area — and a few reunions of RFHers.

Take a look …

And congratulations to the new line officers! They are:

Fire Company

Tim Morrissey, chief; Matt DePonti, deputy chief; Christopher Schrank, first assistant; Matthew Bufano, second assistant.

First Aid

Kim Ambrose, captain; Katy Frissora, first lieutenant; Daniel Kane, second lieutenant.

— Elaine Van Develde

Focus: FHFD Car Show

The sun was out and there was a lot of vintage car reflecting and showcasing at the 17th Annual Fair Haven Fire Police and Fire Department Auxiliary Car Show on Saturday afternoon.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect missed some crowning moments, but managed to get there to grab some photos to give a glimpse into the day.

Tom Kelly’s Dodge Dart got a prize (photo contributed by Evie Connor Kelly included below). We missed that moment, but arrived right after for some lingering chat and show’s end time.

Oh, and there was a birthday boy on the grounds. Happy Birthday, former Chief Dan Kane!

Take a look at some of the final moments of the day …

— Elaine Van Develde


Retro FH Fire Company Picnicking

A gathering of Fair Haven Fire Department folks of the past. Photo/FHFD Yearbook, courtesy of Evie Connor Kelly
A gathering of Fair Haven Fire Department folks of the past.
Photo/FHFD Yearbook, courtesy of Evie Connor Kelly

On the cusp of Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, thoughts turn to the longtime members of the fire company who have made it happen every single year for more than a century.

The people of the fire company have remained friends for generations. And outside of the fair, they have always gathered with their families for many a social event.

There are many memories.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day honors those memories of camaraderie and fun with a look back decades ago to a picnic party.

Check out the cat eye sunglasses. That’s a giveaway of the era.

Do you know when this pic was taken? Recognize any of the adults? Kids? Who’s a fireman now?

— Elaine Van Develde

Special Delivery for Fair Haven Fire Chief

There’s been a special delivery of an official sort of third-generation Fair Havenite — and just in time for the fair!

Fair Haven Fire Department Chief Michael Wiehl and wife Gloria announced the birth of their first child, Abigail Rose, at 8:57 p.m. on Aug. 13.

Abigail Rose Weihl Photo/Facebook screenshot
Abigail Rose Wiehl
Photo/Facebook screenshot
Abigail Rose Weihl Photo/Facebook screenshot
Abigail Rose Wiehl
Photo/Facebook screenshot

Abigail weighed in at 6-pounds, 12 ounces and “everyone is happy and healthy,” Gloria said to Facebook friends.

Grandma and Grandpa, Bonnie and Jeff Wiehl are thrilled.

Michael Wiehl is a third-generation native Fair Havenite, the grandson of Cora and Bill Kacen, longtime fire department members.

Young Fair Haven Firefighter Faces Aggravated Arson Charge

A young Fair Haven volunteer firefighter was arrested on Saturday and could face up to 10 years in prison on a charge in connection with a Friday arson in the borough in which he serves after also responding as a firefighter to extinguish the blaze, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced in a released statement.

Nicholas Joyce, 19, of Fair Haven, also a former boy scout in the borough, was arrested on one count of second-degree aggravated arson after he allegedly set fire to a storage shed on Friday afternoon on the property of the United Methodist Church at 300 Ridge Road, the release said.

The Fair Haven Fire Department, Joyce included, responded on Friday, April 1, at 4:28 p.m., to a report of a fire in the back of the church property at a storage shed belonging to a local scout troop, the release added. Responding firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which was contained to the exterior of the shed.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Haven Police Department resulted in Joyce’s arrest the next day, Saturday. The investigation revealed that Joyce had allegedly set fire to the shed, returned to the fire house and then responded to the scene with other firefighters when the fire was reported, according to the Prosecutor.

Joyce was released from custody after posting $5,000 bail with a 10 percent option, set by Municipal Court Judge James Berube.
If convicted of Aggravated Arson, Joyce faces up to ten years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the No Early Release Act (N.E.R.A.), requiring that he serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

The case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Decker.


Remembering Fair Haven’s Patrolman Robert J. Henne


It was a year ago today that Fair Haven lost Patrolman Robert Henne. The loss of the friendly, compassionate cop was a devastating one.

We, at Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect, again offer our profound condolences to his loving family and many colleagues and friends. 

In memory of Robert, we are re-running our tribute to him that was originally published after his funeral and final call on March 31, 2015. 

RIP, Robert. You are remembered … 

By Elaine Van Develde

There was something about his face.

Always a content smile emanating from underneath his police hat, Fair Haven Police Patrolman Robert J. Henne seemed to wear his pristine, proud heart on its brim. And it seemed as if St. Michael, patron saint of police officers, was perched right next to it, guarding it. Always.

Whether or not you knew the officer well, it didn’t matter. Just one glance of his bright doe eyes and beam from under the brim of that officer’s cap that seemed to embrace him, and you knew you were home, cared for and protected.

And so was he.

“He was emblematic of everything that’s good in this town,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said with crestfallen pride as he reflected on the untimely March 23 death of the 23-year-old third-generation policeman and fireman. “He represented what small-town community life should be.”

The mayor knew him. He knew him well. He knew how he always wanted to be a police officer. He knew that Robert embraced his calling and the people in his community who he served.

The mayor also knew that it gave him much joy to sign off on the promotion of Henne to a Special Class II officer in 2012. He had seen Henne rise through the ranks from police explorer. He remembered. Many others remembered, too.

They remembered every nuance of what they knew to be a modest, fun and compassionate public servant, son, brother and friend.

But you didn’t have to know him well to know the same thing that the mayor and the people closest to him knew — that Robert Henne was a strong, gentle, protective presence in the lives of every citizen with whom he came in contact.

I knew of his impact and pride of being on the job. And I knew there was something special about him.

I could see it in his smile. Many could.

It seems uncanny sometimes how people pass through our lives, in anything from a fleeting moment, to a few casual encounters and even longstanding relationships.

Yet, however long they are a presence, some seem to etch an indelible mark in our hearts.

As a journalist, this happens to us frequently. And, while the always unique fingerprint of some lives imprinted onto ours can inflict searing pain or a dull ache, it can also leave an impression of tremendous joy. But both teach us. We are grateful for both.

Some stay. Some go. But there’s always an impact in one way or another. And we are fortunate to have had a glimpse into their lives — if only for a moment. And we reflect. Sometimes aloud. Sometimes  unwittingly through our actions.

Reflection enriches us all. Having known such an incredible cross-section of people makes us see how one moment with one person, even just passing through, can make a difference. The difference it makes can be celebrated. It can change us forever — for the better.

There are people with whom we’ve grown up whose deaths we must sadly report on. We grapple with how to best honor them. There tragic accidents involving people we do not know, but to whom we can relate because we have a child, a brother, a sister or a friend whom it could have been.

There are people who have just once shared with us an unforgettable gut laugh over a silly outtake moment in an interview. There are centenarians whose amazing lives we are privileged to look back on with them and write about.

There are people who face adversity and share their experience with us. There are people  with whom we chat and come to know when visiting municipal offices or just being out and about in towns we cover. There are villains. There are heroes.

And there are young men like Patrolman Robert J. Henne whose smile I think we will always see when we round a corner, go to an event, or see a uniform, a fire truck or a patrol car in our Fair Haven.

Thank you, Robert Henne for protecting and serving us and for giving us another reason to be grateful for having known someone like you — if only for a moment.

— Slideshow by Elaine Van Develde … Photo credits: Elaine Van Develde, Fair Haven Fire Department, screenshots from Facebook, courtesy of Tom Kirman and other friends and family of Robert J. Henne.


Retro FH First Aid Women

In looking back recently at the Fair Haven Fire Department’s honoring of the iconic Dr. John Movelle at its annual Installation Dinner in 2001, many remembered how the good hometown doctor made house calls without a flinch.

Well, in those emergency situations when a visit to the hospital is imminent and life-and-death situations are looming, the Fair Haven First Aid Squad has been there and still is. The squad has been in existence since March 25, 1930, in fact, according to Fair Haven Fire Department history.

What many may not know, though, is that while all the First Aid Squad line officers are now women — Kim Ambrose (captain), Amanda Lynn (first lieutenant) and Katy Frissora (second lieutenant) — there was a time when there were no women on the squad.

Continue reading Retro FH First Aid Women