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HISTORY
of the
ERMA VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY

 

Great ideas are most often born of necessity.  Such was the case with the creation of the Erma Volunteer Fire Company.  Concerned about fire protection, community members gathered in early 1956 at the home of Howard Matthews to formulate plans that would culminate in the fire company's creation.  Land was purchased on Seashore Road (known then as Old Shore Road) with money contributed by charter members.  The dilapidated existing structure was razed and the volunteers worked nights and weekends to erect the new firehouse.  More than a decade later, a bingo hall was constructed.  The company dedicated the addition in May of 1969.

The company's first vehicles included a truck provided by the Villas Fire Company and a converted root beer truck donated by Syd Hess.  The fire company purchased its first new truck in March of 1961, a 500 gpm Ford at a cost of $13,391.

As opportunities became available, the company expanded its capabilities.  A 5,500 gallon tanker was purchased from Grace Oil Company in the late 1960's and two 1,000 gpm pumpers (6230 and 6231) were added in the mid-1970s.  Following two years of planning, the fire company acquired a 1,500 gpm tanker/pumper (6232) in 1991 at a cost of over $250,000.  After thirty years, the company was preparing itself for the next century with equipment designed to handle complex emergency incidents.  The constant need to address changing firematic conditions caused the company to obtain a used 5,100 gallon tanker in 1995 and begin plans for a 1,500 gpm pumper (6230) and a six person, four wheel drive heavy rescue truck equipped with the Jaws of Life (6297).  The two E-One vehicles were delivered in the summer of 1996.

Further updating followed in 2001 with the replacement of the 2nd Ford pumper (6231) with another new 1,500 gpm E-One pumper.

Through the years, the Erma firehouse served its members and the community well.  Used as a meeting hall, a bingo hall, an emergency shelter, and even a schoolhouse, it became apparent in the late 1980s that the structure was failing and needed to be replaced.  The original construction plan involved the acquisition of land adjacent to the existing site with construction of the new facility on that land.  Wetland restrictions caused the site to be changed and the company entered into a partnership with the Cape May County Freeholders to construct a joint facility housing the Cape May County ARFF unit and the Erma Volunteer Fire Company.  With funding provided by bond approval and an FAA grant, this beautiful firehouse became a reality.  Ground breaking took place in February of 1995 and the members moved into the the new building in December of the same year.  The building was dedicated on October 4, 1997.

After more than fifty years of service to the community, from Chief Ronald Dawson to Chief Dave Lepor, the Erma Volunteer Fire Company continues to proudly serve the community.  The spirit and commitment of the company's charter members is celebrated today as the current members stride to continue a wonderful tradition.

 
CHARTER MEMBERS
W.F. ACKLEY  C. HAND, SR. R. McCANN, JR. H. PRATT
E.J. AYERS S. HESS H. McDONALD L. PRITCHARD
A. BECICA C. COOPER J. McLAUGHLIN M. REED
J. BEERS F. HUGHES D. McPHERSON, JR. J. ROOP, SR.
G. BURRUS M. HUGHES D. McPHERSON, SR. J. P. ROOP
A. CALDWELL F. JONES C.A. MATTHEWS A. SCHUKAY
J. CHAMBERS M. KIMSEY C.J. MATTHEWS A.W. SHEETS
L. CHANOUX A. KUKOSKI E. MATTHEWS L. SHEETS
F. CHURCH SR. R. LEE, SR. H. MATTHEWS J. SLINGUFF
J.W. COOVER E. LEVINSON J. MATTHEWS R. SMITH
E. CORSON J. LINDBERG K. MATTHEWS, JR. P. STEA
H. DAVIES, SR. W. LINDERMAN K. MATTHEWS, SR. R. STRAUGHN
R. DAWSON J. LINTON W. MATTHEWS S. TAYLOR
F. DOUGLASS, JR. R. LINTON J .MAXWELL R. THOMPSON
F. DOUGLASS, SR. A. LONG J. MUNSON A. TOZOUR
R. EWING E. LONG, GR. D.P. OURAM F. TOZOUR
W. FOSTER E. LONG, SR. W. OURAM I. TOZOUR
F. GARRETSON R. LONG R. PHILLIPS D. TRIMBLE
M. GRIFFIN A. MASON D. PIROLLO J. VIZZARD
A. HALBRUNER J. MASON J. PLANT R. WALSH
W. HALBRUNER F. MAUER A. PORTER E. WILL
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CHIEFS
1957-58 RONALD DAWSON 1984-86 ROBERT McNULTY
1959 CURTIS MATTHEWS 1987-91 ED PEW
1960-68 FRANCIS JONES 1991-99 DAVE LEPOR
1969-70 ROBERT THOMPSON 1999-00 KURT HUGHES/STEVE PARKER
1971-78 DIXON OURAM 2000-03 JEFF VAN MOURIK
1979-81 ROBERT McNULTY 2003-16 WARNER MULLER
1982 BRUCE TOWNSEND
2016-
DAVE LEPOR
1983 JEFF VAN MOURIK    
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PRESIDENTS
1957 AUGUST SCHUKAY 1983 ROBERT GREENWAY
1958 RICHARD STRAUGHN 1984-86 ED PEW
1959 JOSEPH ROOP 1987 STEVE SEGGERN
1960-61 FREEMAN DOUGLASS SR. 1988 DONNA MANCUSO
1962-63 JOHN BEERS 1989 FRANK SVITAK
1964-65 FREEMAN DOUGLASS SR. 1990 DAVE LEPOR
1966 EARL PARKER 1991 STEVE PARKER
1967 ROY LITTON /ARNIE KOEHN 1992 MICHAEL CORLETT
1968 ARNIE KOEHN 1993 MICHAEL CORLETT /
ROBERT McNULTY
1969 JOHN MUNSON 1994 KARL HUGHES
1970 DIXON OURAM 1995-98 JOHN SHEETS
1971 ELMER AYERS, JR. 1999 MARK ALEXANDER
1972 RONALD VACCARO 2000-01 EILEEN JENNINGS
1973 CURTIS MATTHEWS 2002-03 DALE GENTEK
1974-75 RONALD VACCARO 2004 BILL JENNINGS
1976-77 TOM KINNEMAND 2005-06 KURT HUGHES
1978 JOHN BEERS 2007-10 MARK ALEXANDER
1979 ED PEW 2011-14 VINCE MATTEO
1980 LARRY MAREE 2015 FRANK JENKINS
1981 STEVE SEGGERN 2016- KELLIANN MULLER
1982 KEVIN HEWITT    
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Through Their Leadership, We've Grown.

 
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"Dedicated Volunteers Serving Since 1956"