Welcome to Franklin Lakes Fire Department :

Founded in 1924, the Franklin Lakes Fire Department has served the residents of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey for 90 years. This all volunteer department responds to all fire and rescue calls within the Borough as well as providing mutual aid to neighboring communities. The Franklin Lakes Fire Department protects nine square miles and a residential population of 11,000. This mostly residential coverage area also consists of some industrial and commercial establishments. Also, Interstate 287 and County Highway 208 run through the Borough as well as two major corporate headquarters complexes are located within the first due area.

The department responds out of two firehouses located strategically within the Borough; Headquarters located on the north side of town and the Southside Firehouse which covers the south. The current apparatus fleet consists of three engines, one squad engine, one aerial truck, one tanker, one air and light unit, one support vehicle and two Command vehicles. The Franklin Lakes Fire Department responds to approximately 500 fire and rescue calls per year.

Franklin Lakes Fire Department

Photo Of The Day for Thursday, June 05, 2014

Photo Of The Day for Thursday, June 05, 2014


Franklin Lakes and Oakland Automatic Mutual Aid

As of March 8th you may see Franklin Lakes and Oakland fire trucks responding throughout town to calls as part of a 3 month trial program. The program will have fire apparatus and command vehicles from Franklin Lakes and Oakland respond to each others towns from the hours of 6am-6pm Monday-Friday. These time of day is when most of the volunteers from both towns are working their everyday jobs and are unable to respond. By having both fire departments respond will increase safety for fireman and provide a better service to the public at the same time. However it should be noted that only on calls for automobile accidents, legitimate fires, haz-mat situations, major gas emergencies, and commercial fire alarms will warrant a response from both towns. These calls require more man power and are more labor intensive and therefore additional equipment is needed. The calls for residential fire alarms and Carbon Monoxide alarms, which make up the bulk of both towns call volume, will not have an automatic mutual aid response. At the end of the trail period an evaluation from the leadership of both departments will determine if this will continue for the future and if needed to make any changes to the response guidelines.


Engine 331 to Oakland

At 0815 hours communication dispatched the fire department for one engine to respond to Indian Hills High School to assist Oakland with setting up a landing zone for a Medivac. A student suffered head trauma in an accident in gym class that required the student to be airlifted to the hospital. Assist Chief Bohny (340) and Engine 331 (LT Devenney) with 4 responded. While responding Oakland command canceled the Engines response and the volunteers returned to quarters shortly after.

photo from Northjersey.com

photo from Northjersey.com


Another Junior in The Ranks

This past Council meeting saw the swearing in of another new member to the ranks of the fire department. Junior fire fighter Andrew Alberg was sworn in and will be riding out of Headquarters, congratulations and be safe.



Don’t Forget To Check Your Smoke Detectors

The Franklin Lakes Volunteer Fire Department would like to remind all residents that when you change your clocks to also check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Change your batteries in all your alarms and also check the dates of each of the detectors. If the detector is more then 5 years old you should have it replaced. If you have an alarm system that is hard wired and goes to a central alarm station have a service tech come service your alarm system to make sure your alarm system is functioning properly. Having an up to date well maintained system could possible save your life in the event of an emergency at your home.


3 Mutual Aid Runs For Engine 331

The week started off Tuesday with communications toning out the volunteers at 0319 hours to stand by Mahwah Company 4. The brothers from Mahwah where battling a 3 alarm condo fire in Company 1’s first due, Engine 331 (LT Chazen) responded with 4 and stood by till 5000 hours.

On Wednesday communications dispatched the fire department for the Engine to return Mahwah Company 4 again to stand by. This time Mahwah was battling a 2 alarm vacant dwelling fire in Company 3’s first due. Asst Chief Bohny (340) Engine 331 (LT Chazen) with 5 responded and stood by for about 2.5 hours.

Finally on Friday at 1400 hours communications dispatched the Engine to respond to Hobby lane in Oakland to the scene of a working house fire. Asst Chief Bohny (340) and Engine 331 (LT Chazen) with 4 responded. Asst Chief Bohny was the first on scene and established command and requested a 2nd alarm for a working fire. Oakland Engine 1031 and Oakland Tower 1041 arrived at the same time and went right to work. Franklin Lakes Engine 331 was the 3rd due piece and hit the hydrant on Franklin Ave and supplied Oakland Engine 1031. The crews from Franklin Lakes performed primary searches on division 2 and assisted with overhaul operations. Crews worked on the fire for 4 hours before returning to the fire house. Great work to all those on scene.


Busy weekend for the Volunteers

The weekend was a busy one for the volunteers including academy training, runs during the snow storm, and the ladder going to Haledon.

Saturday morning started off at 0815 hours with members from the department going to Bergen County Fire Academy to drill on the live fire roof vent simulator. Training officer Comitto and Lieutenant Devenney lead the group on various cutting methods and using different saws to cut with. Each member got significant time on the simulator while junior members got a chance to observe and learn from senior fireman. Crews trained on the simulator for about 3 hours before packing up and heading back to the borough.

While members were returning from training, Communications hit the tones for an activated water flow alarm at a commercial building on Commerce Street. Asst Chief Bohny (340), Ladder 342 (OIC Comitto) with 4, Engine 331 (OIC Dalton) with 3, Squad 332 (OIC Hine) with 2, and Utility 344 (OIC Ritz) responded to the call. Asst Chief Bohny arrived on location and established command reporting contractors on scene. The cause of the alarm was due to workers setting off the system by accident and units returned to quarters shortly after.

As snow was falling later in the day communications alerted the fire department to a motor vehicle accident, car vs. plow truck, with possible entrapment. Asst Chief Bohny (340), Capt Donch (349), Res3cue (LT Devenney) with 4, Engine 331 (LT Chazen) with 5, Squad 332 with 4, and Utility 337 responded. Upon arrival of Asst Chief Bohny and Capt Donch the update was given that there was no entrapment but a Haz Mat condition with 40 gallons of hydraulic fluid from the plow truck leaking onto the road. Units arrived and secured power to the vehicles and applied speedy dry to contain the fluid spill. The Bergen County Haz Mat team responded to assist with clean up of the spill. Units remained on location for 2 hours before returning to the fire house.

Sunday morning started early at 0330 hours with Asst Chief Bohny (340) and Ladder 342 (OIC DeNicola) responded to Haledon to stand by Company 1 while our brothers from Passaic County fought a 4 alarm fire. 340 and Ladder 342 cleared Haledon around 0800 hours. At 1010 hours Communications hit the tones for a water flow alarm at the horizons building number 2. With the high occupancy of the building, automatic mutual aid from Wyckoff and Oakland was added to the assignment. Asst Chief Bohny (340), Ladder 342 (LT Devenney), Engine 331 (Capt Donch), Wyckoff Tower 241, and Oakland Chief 1030 and Oakland Engine 1031 Responded. Units determined the system self charged due to a malfunction and the fire department cleared about 45 minutes after. During that call another call came in for a transformer fire by the Market Basket, Oakland Engine 1031 handled the call.

Finally at 1730 hours communications hit the tones for an activated fire alarm on Oak lane. Ladder 342 (LT Devenney) with 4 and Engine 331 (LT Chazen) with 5 responded to the alarm. The alarm was set off due to cooking and all units cleared shortly after. Great work to those responding to calls this weekend.

Ladder 342 and Utility 344 at BCFA

Ladder 342 and Utility 344 at BCFA


340, Res3cue, Engine 331

340, Res3cue, Engine 331


New Borough Ordinance to Identify Light Weight Truss Construction

The following is a recent ordinance the Borough of Franklin Lakes has adopted, it involves using an outside identification card on a residence at the electric meter, gas meter, or garage door so that the fire department can better identify the building construction of a residence. Light weight new construction when exposed to fire conditions burn much faster and hotter then older style of building construction and the potential for a collapse is much greater. This ordinance is for the protection and safety of your fire fighters so that we can go home to our families after an emergency call.

PREVENTION” OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF FRANKLIN LAKES TO REQUIRE IDENTIFYING EMBLEMS FOR RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES WITH TRUSS CONSTRUCTION WHEREAS, N.J.A.C. 5: 70- 2. 20 enables municipalities to adopt ordinances to require identifying emblems for detached one and two family residential structures with truss construction;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Franklin Lakes, County of Bergen, and State of New Jersey as follows:

Section 1. Chapter 259 “Fire Prevention” of the Code of the Borough Franklin Lakes is Hereby supplemented by the addition of the following:

Article IV: Identifying Emblems for Residential Structures with Truss Construction.

259- 14. Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to mandate the exterior identification of all structures within the Borough that utilize lightweight wood, wood truss, steel truss, composite truss, laminated wood,
“I” beams, or any other pre-manufactured lumber as a method to construct, renovate, or alter any section of an individual stricture or dwelling unit. The pre-incident identification of these buildings will provide fire suppression crews with critical strategic and tactical information to be utilized during firefighting operations and significantly enhance the safety of fire suppression personnel operating at emergency incidents. This article shall apply to all structures consisting of truss or pre-manufactured building components not currently regulated for identification within the current New Jersey Edition of the Uniform Construction Code and International Fire Code.

259- 15. Definition.
For purposes of this article, the following phrase shall have the meaning indicated.


Prefabricated 1-joists, truss joists, truss rafters, and laminated beams and studs or any other materials that may fit within this category.

259- 16. Location and application.
The Construction Official or designee shall determine if a structure contains engineered lumber. All structures containing engineered lumber must have an emblem affixed to the following locations:

Primary Location is the electrical meter, in the event the electrical meter is inside the structure; the Secondary Location is the area of the gas meter plainly visible, in the event the gas meter is inside the building; and the Third Location is the garage door. The emblem shall be applied by the Construction Official/Fire Sub Code Official or designee and shall be a condition of the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for new construction and the Certificate of Acceptance for other than new construction.

259- 17. Emblem design and availability.
The emblem shall be made of reflective material, in the shape and form as described in this section or as required by the U.C.C. The emblem shall be a triangle with dimensions of 5 inches by 2. 5 inches. The emblem will be supplied by the Borough at no expense to the owner.

259- 18. Enforcement responsibility.
This section shall be enforced by the Construction Official and the Fire Sub Code Official.

259- 19. Maintenance.
It is the responsibility of the homeowner to assure the integrity of the emblem. In the event it is removed, damaged or fades over time it shall be the owner’ s responsibility to contact the
Building Department to have a new emblem installed.

259- 19. Violations.
Any person violating this section of this article shall be subject to a fine in an amount of $250 per violation. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct

Section 2. Repealed.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent or in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed as to said inconsistencies and conflicts.

Section 3. Severability.
If any section, part of any section, or clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the remaining provisions of
this ordinance. The governing body of the Borough of Franklin Lakes declares that it would have passed the ordinance and each section and subsection thereof, irrespective of the fact that
any one or more of the subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases may be declared unconstitutional or invalid.

Section 4. Effective Date.
This ordinance shall take immediately upon passage and publication according to law.


2015 Fire Department Installation Dinner

Every year The Franklin Lakes Volunteer Fire Department holds a formal dinner to celebrate the previous year while also introducing the line officers and company officers of the department. Members and their significant others, past members, the mayor and council, and leadership from surrounding departments were all on hand for the celebration.

President Donch introduced the line officers and company officers. Line officers consisted of Chief of the Department Ryan Dodd, Assistant Chief Chuck Bohny, Captain Jay Donch, Captain Tom Pianettini, Lieutenant Brett Devenney, and Lieutenant Max Chazen.
Company officers consisted of President Tom Donch, Vice President Jim Web, Treasurer Ken Steenstra, Recording Secretary Joe Gallup, Corresponding Secretary Brian Dalton, and Financial Secretary Steve Linz.

Aside from the introduction of the leadership of the department, annual awards were given out to recognize the dedication of particular members. Most calls responded to were given out to Max Chazen, Brian Dalton, Chuck Bohny, and Chester “The Rock” Kowalski. The Hustler award was presented to JR fire fighter Mike Jost and finally The “I use the siren too much” award was presented to Captain Pianettini.

Just before desert was serviced a special recognition was given to Jack Willer. Jack is in his mid 90’s and is currently still active with the department, Jack was recognized for his over 90 years of servicing the Borough of Franklin Lakes with the fire department. Jack can always be found helping around the firehouse on drill and meeting nights as well as special events throughout the year. Although he is a “senior” he doesn’t act his age and still has the energy and personality of a 20 something year old. Thank you Jack for your dedication to the fire department and serving the residents in Franklin Lakes!

Also thank you to our brothers at the Oakland Fire Department and the Wyckoff Fire Department for covering the town so that our members can enjoy the evening off.




Vehicle roll over on High Mountain Road Exit Ramp

At 0919 hours Communication dispatched the fire department for a motor vehicle accident with a roll over on the High Mountain Road exit from 287 onto 208. Chief Dodd (330) Asst Chief Bohy (340), Res3cue (CAPT Pianettini) with 4, and Engine 331 (LT Chazen) with 3 responded to the scene. Upon the arrival of the Chiefs it was determined there was no extrication needed but the Fire Department needed to secure the vehicles power and to contain a minor fluid spill. The Franklin Lakes Volunteer Ambulance Corps transported the victim to Valley Hospital to be evaluated. The ramp was shut down for about 45 minutes while the accident was cleared, great work to all operating on scene. Other units that provided assistance were the Oakland Police Department and New Jersey State Police.


Chimney Fire Interrupts Super Bowl

At 1847 hours communications hit the tones for a possible chimney fire at a private residence on Wayfair Circle. Asst Chief Bohny (340) responded and requested a tower ladder from Wyckoff due to Franklin Lakes Ladder 342 being out for repairs. Squad 332 (LT Devenney) responded with a full crew followed shortly by Engine 331(LT Chazen) with a crew of 6, and finally Res3cue and Engine 334 joined the assignment.

Upon arrival of Asst Chief Bohny the update was given of a working chimney fire with possible extension into home and ordered first in companies to hit the hydrant on the property and to stretch hand lines. Engine 331 and Wyckoff tower ladder arrived at the same time followed closely by Squad 332. The crew from Engine 331 hit the hydrant and stretched to the chimney while Tower Ladder 241 set up in the driveway and performed truck company duties. The crew from Squad 332 stretched an addition hand line into the home and performed interior operations. Crews extinguished the fire quickly but extensive overhaul of the chimney area was performed to ensure no fire remained.

Due to the homeowner calling 911 quickly, a rapid response by the fire department, and finally a shoveled out fire hydrant on the property prevented a much larger fire from occurring. Great work too all crews operating and thank you to our brothers from Wyckoff for the assistance.