Monday - Friday
8:30am - 4:00pm

(201) 664-1849

Fire Department

Contact Information

To Report a Fire or Other Emergency Dial 911

The firehouse is now equipped with a telephone messaging system.  Please call 201-664-1963 to leave a non-emergency message:

General Inquiry  -  Dial 61
Fire Chief  -  Dial 62

The OT Fire Department is a volunteer organization and is NOT staffed 24/7

Fire Department Information

The Old Tappan Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1932 by a handful of local residents to provide fire protection to the Borough of Old Tappan. Today, the Old Tappan Volunteer Fire Department has an active membership of about 55 firefighters who live or work in Old Tappan. The Old Tappan Fire Department is run by the Board of Fire Officers which consists of a Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, Captain and four Lieutenants.

The members of the Department perform all of their firefighting duties without compensation.

Board of Officers

The Line Officers are responsible for training, preparedness of apparatus and equipment, and most importantly for leading the men of the Department in the Fire Attack.  They are sworn in by the Mayor during the Borough's Reorganization meeting.

The 2020 Line Officers are:
- Chief of Department:  Chris Reilly
- Deputy Chief:  Evan Kutzin
- Captain:  Brian Morgan
- Lieutenants:   Alex Naylis
                                  Jin Yhu
                                  Tom Shine, Jr.
                                  Stephen Cooke

Fire Aparatus

The Old Tappan Fire Department operates with four pieces of firefighting apparatus and a recue boat and trailer. The apparatus and their mission are as follows:.

  • Engine 64: is the First Due Engine to all structure fires, it establishes a water supply through the use of a 5 inch diameter supply line and then stretches a hand-line (either 1 3/4 inch of 2 1/2 inch) into the fire building to extinguish a fire. Additional lines may be stretched from Engine 64 as it has a pumping capacity of 1,750 gallon per minute.
  • Ladder Tower 63: is the Department's newest piece of apparatus, acquired in December 2016, it responds as the First Due Ladder to all structure fires. The men of the Ladder apparatus perform the fire-ground tasks of Forcible Entry, Search & Rescue, Laddering, Ventilation and Overhaul. They work with portable ground ladders, hand tools, power tools and the Ladder Tower 63's 100 foot aerial bucket.
  • Rescue 61: is the Department's special equipment apparatus. It carries the Hurst Tool system (aka Jaws of Life), a powerful on-board electrical generator, and equipment to deal with Hazardous Materials incidents. It responds to all motor vehicle fires and accidents. At structure fires the men of Rescue 61 act as a Second Due Ladder by assisting and reinforcing the efforts of the crew of Ladder Tower 63.
  • Engine 62 is the Department's Second Engine to all structure fires. It may establish a second water source and stretch additional lines on the fire. Because it is equipped with firefighting foam it responds to all motor vehicle fires and accidents. It also serves as a reserve Engine in the event that while there is one fire being fought, a separate alarm of fire is being received for another location in the Borough. Engine 62 is capable of pumping 1,250 gallons per minute.
  • Marine 69: is the Department's motor boat mounted on a trailer. It is equipped for water rescue and ice rescue operations.

How To Become An Old Tappan Firefighter

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be a New Jersey resident between the ages of 15 to 45 in good health.
  • Required to attend Firefighter 1 training at the Bergen County Police and Fire Academy in Mahwah, New Jersey, within one year of joining the Fire Department.
  • Visit the Old Tappan Volunteer Fire Department at their Quarters on Russell Avenue near Old Tappan Road and pick up an application for membership, or call 201-666-0970 and leave a message on extension 11; include your name, phone number and that you are requesting an application for membership.

Events

The members of the Old Tappan Fire Department participate in numerous activities throughout the year including the following:

  • Memorial Day Parade and memorial service for our fallen firefighters
  • Various local parades
  • Town Day and fireworks display
  • Annual inspection of apparatus and membership
  • Fire Prevention Week (the week including Oct 9th) Visit to T. Baldwin Demarest School for Education Program
  • Open House - Fire Prevention Week (the week including Oct 9th)

Safety Tips

  • Please make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street. To prevent car fires, do not park your car on or near leaf piles.
  • In the event of heavy snow, please see that the fire hydrant on or near your property is kept clear of snow.
  • When cleaning out the garage or storage shed, please dispose of chemicals, old gasoline, pesticides, etc., in the proper manner.
  • Please do not store boxes and other combustible material in your boiler or furnace room.
  • It is good practice to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year when changing your clocks in spring and fall.
  • If you have a fire alarm system, please register it with the Police Department and have a key immediately available with a neighbor or the Police so we can have immediate access to your home in case of an activation.

Fire Department FAQ

Q. How do I test my smoke detector?

A. Every smoke detector has a test button usually near the center of the detector. Press and hold the button for a few seconds. If the detector is working correctly the alarm will sound for a few seconds and then reset. Remember to replace batteries every six months (when we change our clocks is a good reminder) and be certain that the detector is free of dust and debris as this could give a false reading. Every level of your home should have a detector in good working order with special attention to areas where you sleep.  Follow manufacturers instructions.

 
Q. Does the Old Tappan Vol. Fire Dept. fill or empty pools?

A. No.


Q. Why do so many apparatus respond for what appear to be simple incidents?

A. The Old Tappan Fire Dept. is dispatched according to information received from 9-1-1 operators.  Firefighters are prepared to deal with the worst case scenario. Discovering that we need more units once we have arrived at a scene could often lead to loss of life or property. We have learned from experience that it is better to have too much help than not enough. Some of Old Tappan's most devastating fires originated as an activated alarm.  A structure fire requires a number of people to do all of the assigned tasks. Firefighter teams are assigned to certain responsibilities such as fire extinguishment, search and rescue, ventilation, salvage, safety and accountability and rapid intervention in the event a firefighter becomes trapped or injured.