Woodbridge Township is located in north central New Jersey, near the coast. With a population of over 100,000, Woodbridge Township is the 7th largest municipality in the state. Woodbridge Township is comprised of 10 sections or towns, and Woodbridge Fire Department serves the residents of Woodbridge Proper and Sewaren, a population of about 25,000 about 7 square miles. The response area includes residential, condominiums/townhouses, industrial, retail, hi-rise office buildings, two senior citizen buildings, a nursing home, five schools and one of the largest shopping malls in the northeast. Commuter and freight rail lines pass through the district as do portions of the Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike and US Routes 1 & 9.
The Department was founded in 1897, as an all-volunteer force. The first paid “fire driver” was hired in 1911 as a driver for the horse-drawn apparatus. The first motorized pumper was purchased in 1915. By 1929, several more men were hired and formed a union, which still exists today. The Department continues to be a combination, consisting of 27 volunteers and 37 career firefighters.
The Department is dispatched through the Woodbridge Township 911 system. Fire-related calls are routed to the Fire Dispatch Center, located at Station 7, Fords Fire Department Headquarters via a CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system. Alarms are sent to Headquarters via the CAD for the career firefighters, and via radio pager/phone app to volunteers. Apparatus responds immediately from headquarters with career personnel and any volunteers in the station at the time. Other volunteers respond via their personal vehicles to the alarm location.
The Department runs 3 engines, a ladder truck, a rescue, and several support vehicles (shift commander, volunteer chief, tactical operations) out of 1 station. We respond to an average of 750 alarms annually.