RED BANK: SPLIT COUNCIL OKS ENGINE DEAL

red bank fire engine 93 102217The Independent Engine Company’s 1994 Seagrave pumper, seen in the 2017 Halloween parade, would be traded in with a second engine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA recurring split within Red Bank’s all-Democratic council was on display again Wednesday night, when a majority approved the purchase of two new fire engines. Read More »

RED BANK: TWO NEW PUMPERS PLANNED

The new apparatus would be stationed at the Independent Engine house, shared with the First Aid Squad on Spring Street at left, and the Westside Hose firehouse on Leighton Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s volunteer fire department will replace two trucks in the coming year under a plan discussed at last Wednesday’s council workshop session.

“It’s been a long-awaited purchase,” fire Chief Scott Calabrese told the council.

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AFTER 50 YEARS, STILL AFLAME FOR DUTY

wm-stratzFifty of Bill Stratz’s 80 years have been with the Red Bank Fire Department. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s an unlikely warm Saturday afternoon in Red Bank and Bill Stratz is waiting for his four-year-old great-grandson to barrel through the front door of his McLaren Street home at any time. Stratz is on babysitting duty for a few hours, after which he’ll try to do some cleaning in the basement.

There isn’t much for Stratz to do these days on account of a bum knee that’s kept him in physical therapy the last few weeks, and will continue a few more. He’s not happy about this. It gets between him and a passion he’s had for a half-century: chasing fires in Red Bank.

At 80, Stratz, who for the last 18 years or so has stayed active with Relief Engine Company as a member of the fire police, is still eager to answer the call of duty in Red Bank — a call that seemed unavoidable when he moved to town in 1961.

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