Kingston Fire Co. No. 1 dedicates equipment, pole barn

Ceremonial "wetting down" of the new fire engine

Kingston Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 held a dedication for its new command vehicle, engine and pole barn on Oct. 5 at its firehouse on Heathcote Road.

The 2019 KME 1500 GPM Pumper engine was purchased new, and was put into service on March 30. It has a 750-gallon water tank and is equipped with a 30-gallon foam tank and an Onan PTO/hydraulic 6000 watt generator.

It was purchased from Skip Stinger of KME Rev Group in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, and First Priority Group in Manchester Township, Pennsylvania.

The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe command vehicle is used by the fire chief. It has four-wheel drive and is equipped with radios, maps, a computer, pre-incident surveys, gas meters, an AED and a complete command center. It was put into service on July 1.

It was purchased in April from Chris Vallat of First Priority Group in Flanders.

The pole barn was built this year to alleviate crowded conditions in the apparatus bays. It contains Special Services No. 6, Marine No. 1 and Engine No. 1 (a 1939 Ward La France antique pumper). It also has a small display area showing some of the history of the fire company.

It was constructed by Robert Born of RB Carpentry and Construction of Hamilton and Shirk Pole Buildings of East Earl, Pennsylvania.

Trap Rock Industries of Kingston donated some of the stone for the pole barn and back parking lot area.

“It’s an exciting day for this fire company,” Fire Chief George Luck Jr. said during the ceremony. “I take a lot of pride in the membership of this department.”

“We hope we have many more years of service with this apparatus,” said Sarah Luck, president of the Ladies Auxiliary for the fire company, and George’s daughter.

Pastor Jessica Winderweedle of Kingston United Methodist Church began with a blessing, saying “you exemplify for us and the generations after you the values of … courage.”

Agostino Racanati, chairman of South Brunswick Fire District No. 3, said a committee of officers, operators, commissioners, designers and engine operators spent months discussing and planning the upgrades.

“We want to make a commitment to the community and the other volunteers who are here, we stand ready to always protect this village and any other areas that need help,” Luck said.

As Oct. 6 began Fire Prevention Week, along with National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service Day, Luck said “we want to never forget those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

To symbolically remember the 119 firefighters who died in 2018, Patti Shennard, president of the fire company, and Sarah Luck placed a wreath by the memorial while “Taps” was played.

The Rev. Sharyl Dixon of Kingston Presbyterian Church offered a prayer, asking those in attendance to be mindful of those who have served over the years, and to keep their legacy an example for all.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) called the firehouse a “fabric of the community,” while South Brunswick Mayor Charles Carley noted that many generations of the same families have served the village well.

Ted Chase, a councilman in Franklin Township, who is part of the Kingston Village Advisory Committee, said the day was not only a celebration of the new equipment and pole barn, “but also of the men and women of the fire company.”

Next came the ceremonial “wetting down” of the gas pumper, using the antique pumper, led by Norman Luck Sr., the oldest and longest serving member of the fire company.

To close out the event prior to the open house and luncheon, Cheng-Yu Lee, chairman of the fire company, thanked neighboring fire companies who attended the ceremony or provided coverage for the day: Princeton, Montgomery, Rocky Hill, Plainsboro, Griggstown, Monmouth Junction and Kendall Park.

“We don’t report to the same fire station but we do report to the same fire a lot of the time, so thank you for watching our backs and trusting us with watching yours,” he said.

“I thank the community itself,” he continued, “I think we do this for you … we wake up in the middle of the night because of your support, so we thank you for your continued support.”

Kingston Volunteer Fire Company is seeking members. For more information, call 609-924-1181 or visit

Contact Jennifer Amato at [email protected].