The following presentation of Tabernacle firefighters and their fire trucks was originally posted on the Tabernacle Fire Company #1 facebook website. It is reproduce with editing and full approval of the author.
LONG TIME FIREFIGHTERS:
- Michael Callaghan
- Al Freeman
- George Gerber, Jr
- Jules Krause
- Deloris Rubin
- Stuart Rubin
- Ann Saldan
- Rudy Saldan
- Cheryl Smith
- David M. Smith
- Shawn Vena
- Hank Wylupek
LONG TIME FIREFIGHTERS
Past Chief/Life Member Michael Callaghan
Mike joined the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company #1, in 1973 which would later go on to become the Tabernacle Fire Company #1. Over the course of the next 47 years of dedicated service to the residents of Tabernacle, Mike would become an instrumental part of the progression of fire protection to the residents of Tabernacle. During these 47 years, Mike progressed not only as an active firefighter, but as a line officer as well. Mike would eventually go on to become Chief of the fire company (Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company #1) in 1981, where he served until 1982. Following his tenure as fire chief, Mike would go on to serve for many years as a Fire Commissioner for the now dissolved Tabernacle Fire District #1 where he diligently continued to assist in the advancement of the fire service provided to the residents, up to and including the purchase of modern firefighting equipment such as numerous apparatus purchases and the building addition to the fire house. Mike provided this dedicated service all while being a high school teacher with the Cherry Hill School District until his retirement. As a result of his exemplary service, when Quint 4314 was purchased, in 2004, he was one of the Chief Officers that the truck was dedicated to. Chief Callaghan can still be found responding to fire calls today as part of the Fire Company’s Special Operations Team as a Fire Police Officer. Fire Police members provide a safe working environment for the firefighters to perform their duties safely, and is a position that many firefighters “graduate” into when they may not be able to actively engage in firefighting duties anymore; but are just as valuable to the operation and mission of the Fire Company.
Past Chief/Life Member Al Freeman
Al Freeman joined the then Medford Farms Vol. Fire Company #1; that today is known as the Tabernacle Fire Company in 1987. After moving to Tabernacle from Medford where he was an instrumental Volunteer to the residents of Medford, he was a member of the Union Fire Company #1 and Union Emergency Squad as a Firefighter & EMT while becoming a life member there. Moving from one town to another clearly did not deter Al’s will and want to help his fellow neighbors as he quickly showed his dedication to his “new neighbors” by becoming very relied upon member of Tabernacle. Al also served during this time as a member of the New Jersey Forrest Fire Service for many years as well. Al would quickly rise in the ranks of the fire house here in Tabernacle becoming Fire Chief in 1994. Chief Freeman would serve multiple years as Fire Chief. As Fire Chief during this time, Chief Freeman built upon what previous Chiefs did in progressing the fire company into a aggressive, well-trained company and became a 1, 2 punch in the of fire service being rendered. Chief Freeman brought positive attributes that he was familiar with that were proven to work from Medford. It should be noted that in 1941 when the Medford Farms Fire Company was incorporated, it was our fellow firefighters at Union Fire Company the founding members turned to for guidance; and here we are now with a fundamental piece of Union’s success in our membership, which is something that clearly aided to our success. As a member and Chief, Chief Freeman would serve in numerous committees in the fire house, most notably revamping the fire prevention week and open houses events which draw hundreds of people, as well as school presentations; this in addition to the numerous truck purchases, gear purchases and the addition to the building. Chief Freeman was also instrumental as a Chief on the County level as a member of the Burlington County Fire Chief’s Association where he would serve in various positions including President of the Association. He was also on numerous committees at the county level that would go on to change the entire way fire service would be handled in Burlington, one being the transformation of the County Radio Communication from a conventional system to the first digital/trunked system in 2004 . Chief Freeman would become a life member of the Fire Chief’s Association and the State Fireman’s Association where he currently serves in a state capacity as a Board of Manager with the New Jersey Fireman Home as the Burlington County representative, making numerous trips monthly to Boonton NJ. Chief Freeman has always and continues to be a cornerstone of the fire house, always willing to take on any project that needs handling and is always willing to step up to the plate as an officer when needed. Currently, Chief Freeman can still be found answering the call, serving as the Fire Company’s Safety Officer to ensure the company’s overall safety. Chief Freeman stepped down this past January as Deputy Fire Chief, again showing his willingness to do what needs to be done for the betterment of the community. This position in 2020, would go on to be a major undertaking with the current affairs of the pandemic COVID-19 and Chief Freeman makes sure his guidance is of that to ensure the safety of the firefighters without compromising protection to the residents. Chief Freeman has accomplished in the fire service what some career personnel are lucky to achieve as a fulltime job, that he did as a Volunteer, all while maintaining his career in law enforcement as a Burlington County Probation Officer before his retirement. It really has never been a retirement due to his dedication to public service on the volunteer end. For this dedication and commitment, when Quint 4314 was purchased 2004, he was one of the Chief Officers that it would go on to be dedicated to in his name, which by nature of the term “Quint” fits Chief’s Freeman dedication to a T: The word “Quint” deprived from the word “Quintuple” which refers to the five versatile functions a Quint provides is just like Chief Freeman, always willing to take on any task, sometimes even more than 5 to be sure its completed. All while doing this for public safety, Chief Freeman would be supported by his wife, Nancy who also was an asset to Tabernacle Township, having served many years with the now dissolved Tabernacle Fire Commission, in addition to being a school teacher at a nearby school district. The Fire Company and Membership thank Chief Freeman and his family for their countless hours of commitment to the organization and residents of Tabernacle, no doubt reaffirming the old saying “Neighbors helping Neighbors.”
Life Member George Gerber, Jr
George Gerber Jr. began serving the residents of Tabernacle Township when he joined the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company in 1989, that would later become the Tabernacle Fire Company #1. Known as “Poppa Gerber” to everyone at the fire station, Life Member Gerber Jr would continuing serving the residents of Tabernacle as an active Firefighter and as the Company’s photographer; enjoying both, helping his neighbors (and forest critters) and his passion of picture taking. Life Member Gerber Jr, would later serve as a fire police officer for the Special Operations Division of the fire company, prior to his retirement from active service of the Tabernacle Fire Company #1. For many years, George would serve as an administrative officer and Trustee; where he would oversee the building/grounds & overall well-being of the fire company. Poppa Gerber would also actively serve for many decades with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service after growing up in the Forest Fire Service with family, achieving the rank of District Fire Warden. As District Fire Warden, he would be assigned fire apparatus B-41, the Dump Truck with Tractor/Plow. During the many dry years, you could always count on B-41 to be patrolling and protecting the Gateway to the Pines and beyond, thanks to District Fire Warden Gerber. All this dedication to the residents, the Pinelands, and the forest critters would happen after District Fire Warden Gerber would retire after 23 years of service to the State with the NJ National Guard. After this noble calling, he would then work for Arco, Gulf, Chevron and Sunoco refinery with the cracking unit and tank farm where he would retire. As an avid fan of cars, District Fire Warden Gerber would race on dirt track, modified cars, supporting the car number “431” in dedication to the fire company. The Gerber household and family, beyond his direct home, would support this dedication to public service with his #1 supporter, his wife Judy by his side during it all; even serving herself with the fire company in an administrative function, serving as high as Vice President at on point. Many other family members of District Fire Warden Gerber would also serve with the NJFFS in various capacities, as well as his son George III, who would hold the position of Deputy Fire Chief with the then Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company. While not active today, Life Member Gerber’s commitment and dedication to helping his fellow neighbors and residents of the forest should without a doubt not go unnoticed. The members of Tabernacle Fire Company thank you for all your contributions during the last 30 years. Thank you and your family!
Past Chief/Life Member Jules Krause
Jules jumped into the fire service here in Tabernacle by joining the then Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company #1, that would later become the Tabernacle Fire Company #1 at the young age of 16, when he joined as a Junior Firefighter in 1976, following in the foot steps of his older brother John, who served as Fire Chief in 1977 and 1983. Jules would go onto becoming an active firefighter when he turned 18. Jules would quickly rise through the ranks of the fire company becoming the Assistant Fire Chief (Deputy Chief by today’s titles) within just 3 years at the age of 21 In 1981. Chief Krause would continue in this role until 1988 when he would be elected to his first of many terms as Fire Chief. Chief Krause would go on continuing serving the residents faithfully with numerous terms as Fire Chief or as a Chief Officer continuously for the next 24 years, either as Chief or Deputy Chief. During his tenure, Chief Krause would become instrumental In the modernization of the fire service in Tabernacle with the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), aggressive fire tactics, advanced training and equipment. Chief Krause would serve on numerous truck committees as a firefighter or Fire Chief; as well as being a key player of the fire companies transformation of an old Bread Truck into a Cascade/Utility Truck during the 80’s. Engine 4312, the 1989 Pierce that would be the first modern fire apparatus purchased in Tabernacle, would go on to be dedicated to Chief Krause for his many years of service. Chief Krause’s dedicated service to protecting the residents did not just stop at the firehouse. Chief Krause would also serve as the Chief of the Tabernacle Township Office of Emergency Management where in this role he would prepare the township for any disaster that could occur. Chief Krause would also during this time serve as a Deputy Fire Coordinator for the Burlington County Office of Emergency Management for many years. Chief Krause unselfishly made sure the county and its residents were all protected. Firefighting and dedication to the residents ran deep in the Krause household as Jules’s wife, Lisa, also would go on to becoming a firefighter for many years. Jules would eventually also serve on the now dissolved Tabernacle Fire District 1 as a Fire Commissioner for a couple years where again, he continued to protect the residents of Tabernacle up to his “unofficial” retirement. Chief Krause today is enjoying a much more laid back life with his promotion to “Pop Pop” to his grandson “Little Jules”. Chief Krause while not actively engaging in firefighting duties today, is always willing and eager to lend a hand or share his knowledge to the members and current Chiefs whenever needed. Chief Krause is no doubt a major piece of the success and development of the fire service as well as a mentor many of the current senior firefighters and officers. We hope to one day, be able to pull Chief Krause back into the saddle of a fire apparatus so the new generation of volunteers can learn from this amazing source for fire knowledge. The Tabernacle Fire Company is beyond appreciative of the service that he and his family has provided to us and the residents in the past and still today, even if in a reduced capacity. Chief Krause, THANK YOU! Remember, we still have gear with your name on it for you when you want it!
Life Member Deloris Rubin
Deloris joined the Medford Farms Fire Company, that later became the Tabernacle Fire Company #1 in 1992 as an Administration Member. Aunt D as she is known in the fire house had previously served the residents of Tabernacle as a very active member of the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, that was predominantly comprised of the wives of the fire company members, up until the Auxiliary was eventually brought under the auspices of the Fire Company. Aunt D is the wife of Chief Operator Life Member Stu Rubin who has been serving since 1971. For countless years Aunt D could be found coordinating some of the larger community events such as as the Senior Dinner during the winter holidays and The extravagant visit from the North Pole by the man in the suit (Santa, we know him!) for his breakfast with the community, and made sure to have Santa bring an adequate amount of toys for all the good boys and girls to receive after breakfast. This is just 2 of many events that without a doubt, Deloris and Stu contributed greatly to its success for almost 5 decades!!!! Aunt D would eventually cross over to the active side by being a member of the Fire Company’s Special Operation Division as a Fire Police Officer to help keep members safe while on alarms. Deloris, from the membership, we thank you for your dedication and commitment to the fire company and residents, we would not by any means, be this successful. Thank you!!!
Chief Operator Stuart Rubin
“Uncle Stu” as he is known in the firehouse to everyone, began serving the residents of Tabernacle Township in 1971 when the company was originality known as the Medford Farms Vol. Fire Company and is currently the longest tenure member of the organization. For the past 49 years, “Uncle Stu” has dedicated himself to the fire company and to the residents of Tabernacle faithfully as an active firefighter.. Stu has served many positions in the company and currently serves as the Chief Operator and Head Trustee. Uncle Stu was a professional truck driver all his life prior to retiring and still today can be counted on to crew his baby; Tender 4316.
Life Member Anna Saldan
Anna joined the Medford Farms Fire Company prior to it becoming the Tabernacle Fire Company #1 in 1992. Anna has been serving the residents as a direct member of the fire company now for 28 years. Prior to joining the MFVFC, Anna was found serving the residents for many years as an active member and previous officer of the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, where she was also a life member, prior to the Auxiliary being brought under the auspices of the Fire Company. The commitment and dedication of Anna and the Saldan household does not stop with Anna; Anna’s husband, Chief Operator Rudy Saldan has been serving the residents since 1977, her daughter Lisa was an active Firefighter through the 80’s and 90’s, while Son-Law Jules Krause was active from 1976 serving many terms as a Chief Officer. There is little to no doubt, Anna’s contribution to the numerous company events were a huge part of their success, from the Senior Holiday Dinner, Pancake Breakfast with Santa, Comedy Night Shows, Company Dances, Fire Prevention Open House and so much more. Anna could be found back in the kitchen making sure food was hot and delicious, ready to be served, and never shy of enough. Anna eventually would become a special Operations Member as well by being a part of the Fire Police Unit. Not very active today due to personal issues, but the pride and spirt of Anna is still alive and well in the fire house and we know we have high bars in front of us to keep up with what she has done. Anna, from everyone at the fire house, we thank you for all you have done for us and the residents. We have not forgotten you and send you all the wishes we can for you and Rudy!!
Chief Operator/Vice President/Life Member Rudy Saldan
Chief Operator Saldan, known at the firehouse to all as “Uncle Rudy”, joined the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company #1 in 1977, which later became known as the Tabernacle Fire Company #1. Uncle Rudy would go on to continue serving the residents of Tabernacle Township diligently as an active firefighter for more than 4 decades, becoming a life member of both; MFVFC and TFC. “Uncle Rudy” would eventually become elected as the Fire Company President in 1986; a position he would go on to hold for the next 24 years.
The dedication of serving the residents of Tabernacle in the Saldan household would not stop at just Rudy; his daughter Lisa would eventually become an active firefighter serving for many years, his Son-in-Law, Jules Krause, would serve many years as Fire Chief and his wife, Anna, would go on to serve in the Ladies Auxiliary and Fire Company as an Administrative member; also becoming a Life Member.
As President, Rudy oversaw the dedication of the members to progress the volunteer fire company into a modern and aggressive firehouse through the leadership of the many Chief Officers. Rudy would also go on to serve to as Chairman for the now dissolved Tabernacle Fire District #1 for many years. While maintaining stellar service, he worked diligently with the other fire commissions to keep the tax rate as low as possible, without compromising service, which reaffirmed his dedication and commitment to the residents of Tabernacle. Rudy would become instrumental in the purchase of numerous apparatus, essentially the entire modern TFC firefighting fleet, (4312(r), 4318(r), 4311, 4316, 4317, 4314 and Car 43), equipment, as well as the addition to the fire house in 2004.
The Medford Farms Fire Company and Tabernacle Fire District #1 in 1993 would go on to dedicate Engine 4311 in his name for his commitment and dedication. His dedication to the residents would not go unnoticed outside the firehouse. The Church of the Holly Eucharist would bestow upon him the great honor of “Volunteer of the Year” in 2015; an award described as “The award given to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the culture and history of the Pine Barrens” a description that Rudy surely has earned. This dedication would be completed all while Rudy was a Professional Truck Driver before retiring as a Teamster.
After 43 years responding to fires, Chief Operator Saldan can still be found ensuring the response of fire apparatus by fulfilling the position of Driver/Operator, as well as still serving on the Executive Board of the Fire Company as Vice President. The fire service in Tabernacle would not be what it is today without the unselfish contributions from Chief Operator/Life Member Rudy Saldan and we are beyond appreciative of his service to us!!
President Cheryl Smith
Cheryl Smith joined the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company, prior to it becoming the Tabernacle Fire Company #1, in 1992. Cheryl has been serving the residents as a direct member of the fire company now for over 28 years. Prior to joining the MFVFC, Cheryl was found serving the residents for many years and an active member of the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company – Ladies Auxiliary, where she was also a life member, prior to the Auxiliary being brought under the auspices of the Fire Company. President Smith would serve as Secretary, Treasure, Vice President and now Serving as President of the Fire Company. President Smith could always be found helping the fire company prepare and facilitate many community events, such as Fire Prevention, School Visits, Comedy Nights, Company Dances, Senior Holiday Dinner and of course the Breakfast with Santa. As previously noted, with many other members, showing a strong family commitment to serving the fire company, Cheryl and the Smith household do not stop short of this; her Husband Dave Smith has been serving since 1987 with many terms as a Chief officer, her daughter Erin Currid was an active firefighter and Lieutenant who still serves in a administrative role, daughter Aubrey Lichty is an active member of the Special Operations Division as well as a Trustee and Secretary of the Township Relief Association, and Her Son-in-Law Michael Lichty is an active firefighter and previous Deputy Fire Chief. President Smith is also a member of our Special Operations Division as a Fire Police Officer. Cheryl previously served the Residents for many years as an EMT as a past member of our sister agency here in Tabernacle, the Tabernacle Rescue Squad, Station 439. Cheryl is also a member of the Hampton Lakes Volunteer Fire Company, Station 172 in Southampton as a Fire Police member. For many years during the 80’s and 90’s, President Smith was an instrumental part of the MFVFC ability to place in State Championship competitions, even winning FIRST, with fire apparatuses in the State Fireman’s Association Parade held in Wildwood, NJ. It is with no doubt, that President Smith has and continues to be an asset of the Fire Company and without her and her countless hours of dedication to the residents of Tabernacle, many functions nor the fire company, would be where it is today. Not said very often, but President Smith, we the members know your continued goal of the fire company has been that of serving the residents in every faucet possible, and for that, WE THANK YOU for what you have done and continue to do for us and the Township.
Past Chief/Life Member David M. Smith
David Smith joined the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company, which later became the Tabernacle Fire Company, in 1987. Dave would would rise in the ranks, quickly becoming Assistant Fire Chief in 1992. Chief Smith would continue serving the residents of Tabernacle in various officer/leadership positions, serving as Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief up until becoming Fire Chief in 2012. Chief Smith would serve this position as the last Fire Chief of MFVFC. Then in 2014, he would serve as the 1st Fire Chief of Tabernacle Fire Company #1, until stepping down as Fire Chief in 2019. Chief Smith would remain in the command staff until 2020 where he would then retire as a Chief Officer, after serving over 20 plus years in the command staff, serving the residents of Tabernacle. Chief Smith, throughout the tenure of his membership, would continuously rank as a “Top 5 Responder” year after year. It is with this dedication and commitment that he would respond to thousands of calls for help, earning the top responder numerous times. He was awarded the 200 club and 300 club awards numerous years (these awards are given to volunteers who answer 200 or 300 alarms in a year, respectfully) and committed endless hours to providing fire protection to Tabernacle. Showing this dedication is why he would go on to be awarded numerous honors for his actions, such as the “Chief’s Award” in January 2005 and a “Service Appreciation Award” in 2007 for his “Tireless Support As A Chief Officer to the Fire Company And the Residents of Tabernacle Township”. He would then be awarded the companies most distinguished yearly honor, the “David Reed Memorial Achievement Award” in 2008, that is presented to “A member who has demonstrated qualities to do whatever it takes to advance the mission and vision of the fire company through creativity innovation and dedication.” Dave Reed was the 1st Fire Chief and a cornerstone in the advancement of the Medford Farms Fire Company and to the Township of Tabernacle when the MFVFC was organized in 1941. In 2016, Rescue Engine 4312 a 2016 Rosenbauer Engine, upon being purchased and received, would be dedicated to Chief Smith for all that he has done and continues to do for the Fire Company and residents of Tabernacle. Chief Smith is a Life Member and Past Fire Chief of our mutual aid company, Hampton Lakes Fire Company, Station 172, where he served over the course of this same time. Helping the neighbors of Tabernacle and surrounding areas would not just stop at Chief Smith. His wife Cheryl is a Special Operations/Fire Police Officer and also the President of TFC, his two daughters serve the fire company, Firefighter Erin Currid and Special Operations/Fire Police Aubrey Lichty, whose husband Michael Lichty, is Deputy Fire Chief. Previously, Chief Smith’s late brother Jim Smith Sr. was an active member and past officer of Medford Farms, as was his sister Mary Kay who served as a firefighter during the 90’s. It is no doubt that the Smith family are dedicated to serving their neighbors in their time of need and the progression of fire service would not be what it is today without their selflessness in helping their neighbors. The members of Tabernacle Fire Company thank Chief Smith and his family for their service to the company and residents.
Past Chief/Life Member Shawn Vena
Shawn started serving the residents of Tabernacle Township when he joined the Medford Farms Fire Company in 1988, now known as the Tabernacle Fire Company, as a firefighter, eventually becoming a life member. Shawn would also become a member of the Tabernacle Rescue Squad becoming an EMT, where he also would become a Life Member.
Shawn would rise in the ranks of the firehouse, eventually becoming Fire Chief from 2002-2004. During this time as Chief, Chief Vena would build on the previous Chiefs, adding and revamping policies and procedures bringing them up to new standards. Chief Vena would go on to dedicate his life to the service of others by being a Career EMT for University of Medicine and Dentistry, assigned to Camden City EMS, before working as a career EMT with Mount Laurel Emergency Medical Services, before his retirement. He no doubtably touched and saved many lives.
Chief Vena was also a founding member of Shamong EMS Station 289, a division of the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Company. Chief Vena would go on to be awarded numerous awards for his dedication and commitment to the fire company.
The want to help their neighbors would not fall short in the Vena household. Shawn’s wife would serve many years to the residents of Tabernacle as an EMT during her career as a teacher in a local school district, and his sons and daughter would become Firefighters and/or EMTs. The call for help would run deep in the family lines.
Chief Vena served the residents with the “Customer Service” model during his time, second to none, up until his retirement from active fire/EMS service. Chief Vena, is still actively engaged in the Fire, EMS & Rescue despite his retirement as an EMT Instructor; he passes on his vast and extensive knowledge keeping alive his abilities through the hands and minds of those he trains. It is without a doubt that Chief Vena has served the residents of Tabernacle unselfishly for over 3 decades and the membership thank you and your family for that faithful service. Thank you Chief!
Firefighter/Life Member Hank Wylupek
Hank joined the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company, which later became the Tabernacle Fire Company #1, in 1988, after moving to Tabernacle. Hank’s firefighting career started in 1976 with the Delaview Fire Company, of the Pennsauken Township Fire Department where prior to moving to Tabernacle, he had held the position of Deputy Fire Chief. In Tabernacle, Firefighter Wylupek, would become an instrumental part of the success of the fire service by becoming one of the most relied upon fire apparatus operators of the company, where he would go on to pump many fires that would be fought by the Tabernacle Volunteers. Firefighter Wylupek is a certified operator on all apparatus and like a flash of “blue lightning.” More than not, he was one of the first members to the station when the call for service to help his neighbors was sounded, many times before the fire whistle would fully sound, no matter the time of day. Firefighter Wylupek, would eventually serve as Lieutenant and Captain of the fire company, and serve as a trustee on the administrative side. “Hellofajob” as Firefighter Wylupek would become known in the firehouse, due to making time to thank responding members and praise their dedication after EVERY CALL HE RESPONDS TO, as he walks out the door. Firefighter Wylupek‘s dedication to the residents of Tabernacle is beyond measurable. He has served on countless committees always trying to give back to the volunteers for their time and commitment. Firefighter Wylupek would continually always rank in the “Top 10” most active responders each year and during his entire tenure, answering what amounts to thousands of alarms. In 2009 Firefighter Wylupek was awarded the companies most distinguished yearly honor, the “David Reed Firefighter of the Year” award by the then Medford Farms Fire Company, presented to him, by at the time, Chief John Welling for Hank’s unselfish commitment to the mission of the Fire Company. Chief David Reed was the first Fire Chief in Tabernacle Township in 1941, when the MFVFC was organized . One of Firefighter Wylupek’s most prestige calls, in which operating members received unit commendations for, occurred on January 11, 2005. While operating on Fire Box 4310 companies rescued a 24 year old stallion( horse) who had become trapped in a drainage ditch in 4 feet of mud and filled with freezing water. What makes this call stand out so much regarding Firefighter Wylupek is, in his downtime, Firefighter Wylupek is am avid outdoorsman and taxidermist; Firefighter Wylupek entered, without regard to his own personal safety, freezing cold waters to hold the head of the Stallion above water while the rescue operation took place. He never gave up that position during the prolonged Rescue, due to the Stallion becoming excessively weak and unable to do so, which would had resulted in almost certain death. This is just one call of many that Firefighter Wylupek would show his selfishness with regard to being a firefighter, one of the greatest attributes of Firefighter Wylupek. This dedication was accomplished as Firefighter Wylupek would work full-time as a machinist prior to his retirement and he would be supported by the love of his life, his wife Maggie, who also currently serves with the fire company in an administrative function of the company. Today, Firefighter Wylupek can still be found answering countless calls, still in the top 10, but serving more active with the Fire Police division of the Fire Company. The Tabernacle Fire Company is greatly appreciative of the commitment and dedication demonstrated by the Wylupek’s for the betterment of Tabernacle, and while not said enough, WE THANK YOU!
FIRE FIGHTING APPARATUS
Engine 4311 is a 1993 4 guys custom engine with a 1,250 gallon per minute pump carrying 1,000 gallons of water with seating for 6 firefighters. This Engine is equipped primarily as a Structural Response Engine. It carries 1,200 foot of large diameter hose for water supply, 2 200 foot 1 3/4‘ preconnect attack hose lines, 1 200 foot 1 3/4’ preconnect foam attack line, 200 foot of 2.5’ attack line, 200 foot of 3’ hose line as well a firefighting equipment consisting of ventilation fans, saws, scene lighting, hose appliances, brooms, shovels, and much much more.
Engine 4311 (Antique)
Engine 4311 is a 1974 Ford Great Eastern pumper on a F-750 chassis sold to the Medford Farms Fire Company by Eddie Mae. This truck was equipped with a 750 gallon per minute pump with a 750 gallon water tank and was the FIRST APPARATUS EVER BOUGHT BRAND NEW in Tabernacle. At the time this fire truck was purchased, it was a state of the art firefighting apparatus. The volunteers of 1974 we so estatic over the purchase and delivery of a brand new fire truck, it would actually go totally unnoticed for six months that the pumper was delivered the wrong color, RED! The manufacturer painted it standard fire engine red in error of the request to be painted the now “Tabernacle Yellow”. This Engine would be dedicated when purchased, to the 1st Fire Chief of Tabernacle Township (Medford Farms Fire Company) Chief David Reed, who was a cornerstone of the fire house and to the residents of Tabernacle. The “original 4311” as described by the volunteers would serve as a front line fire apparatus until 1993, when the current Engine 4311 would be delivered to the fire company (the right color). At that time it would be renumbered to Engine 4313 and used as a reserve engine in the event one of the current apparatus would need repair. In the 80s the engine would be sent out to be rebranded to match the organization color scheme of yellow until its official retirement in 2005; due to numerous standard changes in fire apparatus, most notably riding on the back step. “4313” would then be used for parades, shows, and funerals. When the Medford Farms Fire Company would become the Tabernacle Fire Company In 2016, the remaining monies of MFVFC would be used to fully restore the fire truck back to its condition when delivered, including being painted Red. This fire truck is still at the fire company and is housed in the original Medford Farms Fire Station at the end of the property.
Engine 4312 Pierce Arrow
Engine 4312 was a 1989 Pierce Arrow Pumper with a 5 person cab, top mount pump capable of pumping 1,250 gallons per minute, carried 1,000 gallons of water and had a 20 gallon foam tank. This engine would be the first apparatus purchased in Tabernacle that was coming into modern times, with a crew cab that allowed firefighters to not be exposed to riding on the tailboard, also known by firefighters as the “back-step”. Engine 4312 when purchased, was dedicated to, at that time, Chief Jules Krause for his outstanding commitment to progressing fire protection to the residents of Tabernacle. Engine 4312, from 1989 until 1993, would serve as the first out apparatus until the purchase of Engine 4311. It would then be used primarily for vehicle accidents, vehicle fires and the 3rd out apparatus on house fires, behind Engine 4311 and Tanker 4316. Engine 4312 would go on to serve the fire company until 2007, when the then Medford Farms Fire Company, now Tabernacle Fire Company, would take possession of Quint 4314, that once again Chief Krause was instrumental in its acquisition, replacing the apparatus dedicated to his service.
Engine 4312 Rosenbauer
Rescue-Engine 4312 is a 2016 Rosenbauer Engine built on a Commander Chassis with an 8” raised roof, 1,000 gallon water tank, 30 gallon class A foam tank, 20 gallon class B foam tank; featuring a 1,500 gallon per minute pump, 6 person cab with all the latest safety features for firefighter safety and a light tower mounted on the roof. Rescue-Engine 4312, which when built, was dedicated to past Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company Fire Chief, Past Chief of Tabernacle Fire Company, and current Deputy Fire Chief, David Smith, for all his years of dedicated service to the residents of Tabernacle Township who joined in 1986. This Rescue-Engine is fully equipped as a structural response engine, as well as serves as a rescue company that is equipped for vehicle extrication, rope rescue, confined space rescue and water rescue, thus giving it the name “Rescue-Engine”. This is also the apparatus from the Tabernacle Fire Company #1 that responds as part of the Burlington County Technical Rescue Team. This truck would not have been possible without the continued support of the Tabernacle Township Committee in securing the needed funding in 2015 to make this truck a reality. The Tabernacle Fire Company #1 is compromised of 100% volunteer firefighters keeping the old saying “neighbors helping neighbors” in full effect.
Quint 4314 is a 2006 75” Pierce Aerial Rear mount stick, with a 6 person cab, equipped with a 2,000 gallon per minute pump, carrying 400 gallons of water, 40 gallon Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS), 1000” of supply line, numerous fire attack lines, fans, numerous saws/ventilations tools, forcible entry equipment, rope rescue equipment and much much more; making this one big fire truck tool box. Many people ask “What is a Quint?” Well a Quint is a “Quintuple“ combination fire apparatus that serves a dual purpose of an Engine Company and/or a Ladder Company on a fire scene. Quintuple refers to the FIVE functions that the apparatus provides – Pump, Water Tank, Fire Hose, Aerial Device, and Ground Ladders. The ability to have one apparatus serving all these functions allow cost effective measures to be utilized, saving your tax dollars. Quint 4314, as stated, is equipped with what is known as a CAFS system that when properly used, allows the 400 gallon water tank to function almost equivalent to about 1,500 gallons, allowing firefighters to aggressively extinguish the fire. Quint 4314 is currently the first out apparatus to any reported structure fire; it also responds as requested to the surrounding towns that do not have a dedicated Ladder Company, or in our case, a Quint. When delivered to the then Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company which later became Tabernacle Fire Company #1, Quint 4314 was dedicated to Past Fire Chiefs Al Freeman and Michael Callaghan for their unselfish dedication and commitment to serving the residents of Tabernacle Township. These two Chiefs, who are still active in the firehouse today, have a combined total of EIGHT-SIX YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE FIRE COMPANY AND RESIDENTS OF THIS GREAT TOWN. It is with no doubt that without these two men, Tabernacle would not be what it is today! Dedicating Quint 4314 to these two men was absolutely fitting since the apparatus performs so much on a fire scene, just like these two men have over the years with the utmost professionalism.
Tanker 4316 1968 GMC
Tanker 4316 was a 1968 GMC truck that originally was used as an oil delivery truck, that was repurposed by the Medford Farms Fire Company in the 70’s. This truck was equipped with a believed 250 gallon per minute pump and 2,000 gallon water tank. The repurpose of the this oil truck into a fire tanker was done by the membership to reduce costs at that time, the MFVFC relied solely on donations for equipment and was still in the infancy of its existence. This Tanker would not carry much firefighting equipment due to its body designed from its first life, but it would be go on to serve the residents of Tabernacle until 1981, when the 1980 “Super Banana” tanker would be delivered to the fire company. It is by the dedication of the membership during the 70’s that made this apparatus possible.
Tanker 4316 1970 Ford F8000
Tanker 4316 was a 1980 3,000 gallon water tanker with a 750 gallon per minute pump on Ford F8000 chassis, delivered in 1981. When purchased in 1980 by Tabernacle Township, supported then by Mayor Frank Grungo, for the then Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company #1, that today is known as the Tabernacle Fire Company #1, the truck was dedicated to Past Fire Chief/Life Member Edward Gallagher. Chief Gallagher served as Fire Chief in 1956 and again in 1976. Chief Gallagher, would also serve many other positions in the fire company, most notably serving as the Chief Engineer for many years, as well as serve as the Fire Company President in 1955, 1956, 1957 and again in 1973. Chief Gallagher joined the fire company in 1947 and served diligently and faithfully for the residents of Tabernacle for 57 continuous years, up to his passing in 2004.
Tanker 4316, dubbed the “Super Banana” due to its large size and bright yellow would go on to compete and win in numerous parades, most notably taking 2nd place in the 1982 NJ State Fireman’s Association Parade, category of “Best Appearing Straight Tanker” that would come back in 1983 to win FIRST PLACE, in the same state competition. Tanker 4316 would continue to serve the residents of Tabernacle up until 2000, when the current Tanker would be delivered to the then Tabernacle Fire District #1. Tanker 4316 (2e) would then be sold to another Burlington County Fire Department in need of a Water Tanker and would serve them well for a few years, until they were able to purchase another truck.
Tender 4316 2000 Freightliner
Tender 4316 is New Lexington 3,500 gallon water tender with a 2,000 gallon per minute pump, built on a 2000 Freightliner Chassis. This apparatus’s main use is to transport a large amount of water to be used to supply the fire attack apparatus during fire suppression efforts, equipped also with a large pump to assist in supplying water to the fire scene in the event of restricted access to properties. Tender 4316 is also equipped with attack lines like a pumper in the event it arrives first due to a fire, the crew can make a defensive fire attack while waiting on additional manpower. This truck also carries a variety of “water supply” equipment that aids in suppling fife scenes such as water jets for pond operations as well as an assortment of firefighting tools. Tender 4316 is part of the Burlington County Tender Strike Team which is a group of Tenders being called to deliver an initial load of 15,000 – 20,000 gallons of water to major fires. The tenders then have the capability to then enter whats knows as a water shuttle, shuttling water (hence its name) from rural fill sites like lakes, ponds and streams back to these fires. Tender 4316 is assigned to Strike Team C. Tender 4316 is also equipped with whats known as a “portable pond” that when deployed works as a fire hydrant for the fire, that other tenders in that water shuttle can “dump” their water into so the fire scene has adequate water to extinguish the fire. When purchased for the then Medford Farms Fire Company, now Tabernacle Fire, the truck was dedicated to the Tabernacle Board of Fire Commissioners, Rudy Saldan, Nancy Freeman, Kevin Zebrowski, Michael Callaghan and Donald Perkins, for their dedication and commitment to the Fire Company and residents of Tabernacle Township. Without the commitment and dedication of these Fire Commissioners, fire service today would not be shaped and prepared as it is today to; keeping Tabernacle residents safe
Brush Truck/Mini-Pumper 4317
A 1978 Pierce built on a Dodge chassis with a 250 gallon per minute pump, capable of “pump-and-run”, and a 250 gallon water tank, known as the Lil’ Banana”.. This truck would serve the then Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company, which went on to become the Tabernacle Fire Compamy #1, from 1978 through 2001. It would be used in various roles for the fire company and when purchased was dedicated to MFVFC Past Chief Harvey O’Neil. Initially bought as a first out “Quick Attack” pumper that would eventually serve as the station’s brush truck until the purchase of the new mini-pumper/brush truck 4317 in 2001 by the then Tabernacle Fire District #1. The truck was then sold to AZ Lawn Care for private use before then being purchased by the Cherry Hill Fire Police to begin its third life as a traffic control vehicle. It has since been retired by Cherry Hill and its location/use is now unknown.
Mini Pumper/Special Ops 4317 & Marine 431
Mini-Pumper 4317 is a 2001 Pierce 500 gallon per minute pump, 250 gallon tank built on Ford F550 chassis. This truck was purchased by the former Tabernacle Fire District #1 for the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company, now known as the Tabernacle Fire Company #1. The purpose of this vehicle is to have a small pumper (hence the name, mini-pumper) that can access hard to-get to places in the Township; such as restrictive driveways, off road pits and also to tow the fire company’s 10 foot Zodiac Rescue Boat; that is used for water rescue incidents. Mini-Pumper 4317 is equipped with fire suppression equipment such as attack lines, supply hose, small ladders, miscellaneous firefighting equipment, a winch mounted in the front of the vehicle that can be used for a plethora of needs, as well as traffic control devices to back up the Traffic Control Unit 4319 (to be showcased next week).
The Rescue Boat, a 10 foot zodiac with a 25hp outboard engine, fully equipped for equipment needed during water incidents. The Tabernacle Fire Company #1 has a team of dedicated Volunteers that are trained to the NFPA Standard 1006, to perform water rescue operations in a variety of water environments, such as Surface Water, Swift Water, Flood Water and Cold Water/Ice Rescue. Team members that are trained to the NFPA 1006 Water Rescue Operations Level allows them to make land or boat-based rescues and some members are also trained to the NFPA 1006 Water Rescue Technician Level; who can actually enter the water and perform what’s known to responders as a “Go Rescue”. Go rescues are a very dynamic and dangerous rescue situation that give patients trapped in the water the best chance of survival by making A “hands on rescue”. Not that TFC provides this level of service, we even have members trained to the Technician level in Dive Rescue situations who are rescuers that don SCUBA gear and check under the water for victims. Mini-Pumper 4317, Marine 431 and Rescue Engine 4312 are all equipped with the needed equipment these members need to perform rescues such as Personal Floatation Devices, Rescue Helmets, Dry Suits, Rope Throw Bags, Floating Rescue Devices, Rope Disks, Rope/Rope Hardware needed to set up dynamic rope rescue systems, Ice Rescue Suits and Ice Rescue Claws. This equipment all together allows Rescuers to perform many tasks needed during very complex rescues to protect you, the residents and visitors of Tabernacle Township and surrounding communities, maintaining our commitment to protecting the residents with the motto, Neighbors helping Neighbors in full effect.
Light & Air Unit 4318
Light & Air Unit 4318 was a 1992 Beaten Roll-Up built on a Ford F700 chassis with a command center and crew crab in the back of the unit that allowed for a total staffing of 6 firefighters. 4318 was equipped with an air-filling cascade station to allow for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, also known as SCBAs to be refilled on fire scenes. This unit would also serve as a Mobile Command Post for major incidents, allowing Command Officers to have access to a variety of pre-plans, SOGs, SOPs, resource directories and Command Boards to manage incidents; all while the Incident Command Staff would be inside from adverse weather. This unit also carried a variety of equipment that included saws, fans, salvage tarps, brooms, shovels, many vehicle mounted and ground mounted lights, thus making it the “Light and Air Unit”. When purchased, the Tabernacle Fire District #1 and Medford Farms Fire Company, now known as Tabernacle Fire Company, would dedicate this truck to Chief Operator Stu Rubin, for his unselfish and committed dedication to serving the residents of Tabernacle from, at that time, 1971 – 1992 (21 years); a small token of gratification for all that “Uncle Stu” had done and would continue doing for the fire service in Tabernacle, which now stands at an unbelievable 49 years of faithful service. 4318 eventually would slightly change roles before being retired in 2016, to being a Traffic Control Unit and Technical Rescue Unit, prior to being turned over to the Township of Tabernacle for reassignment, where it was eventually sold. During 4318’s time in service, this truck would also go on to compete in the Utility Truck category, and win, in various parades, most notably taking 2nd place in 1992 then taking FIRST PLACE at the NJ STATE FIREMANS ASSOCIATION FIREFIGHTER CONVENTION IN WILDWOOD NJ IN 1993 FOR BEST APPEARING UTILITY TRUCK! A great accomplishment for the Volunteers of 1993!
Special Operations/Traffic Unit 4319
SO/Traffic Unit 4319 is a 1992 E350 Mini-Mod Ambulance that was donated to the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire Company, known now as the Tabernacle Fire Company by Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals. The purpose of this acquisition was the members of the Fire Police division were in need of a vehicle that could meet the needs of the NJ Traffic Incident Management initiatives and needed specialized temporary traffic control devices that could be stored for rapid deployment. Thanks to the generous donation, this idea became a reality that greatly improved the safety of the fire police officers by giving them access to a marked unit; rather than utilizing their own personal vehicle for traffic diversion. SO/TU 4319 is equipped with 50 NFPA complaint traffic cones, numerous traffic signs for diverting traffic, extra fire police personal equipment such as helmets, vests, flares, traffic wands and portable radios. There are also numerous traffic diversion arrows mounted on the vehicle (passenger side, drivers side and rear) to help notify the motoring public of a detour. As part of the Special Operations division, this unit is equipped with salvage and overhaul equipment, which is equipment that is used to clean up after a fire, such as portable pumps/wet vacuums to assist the public with massive water leaks, salvage tarps that are use to protect personal belongings in a home to prevent further damage to a property during a fire/incident and much more. It was a vision by at the time Fire Police Captain Steve Axner (who sadly is not longer with us in person, but rather in spirt) and Former Fire Police Lieutenant Dean Davison to create this unit and was their countless hours of work to make it happen. This apparatus was never actually dedicated to any specific members due to it not being purchased new, but no doubt is here today due to those two, and over course of time, the rest of the fire police members.
This 1950’s era Jimmy Fire engine served the residents of Tabernacle as the second owner during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, while being operated by the then Medford Farms Fire Company. MFVFC would keep possession of this fire engine until early in the 1990’s when in great shape it would be sold back to the original fire company, from Pennsylvania’ to be refurbished and displayed as their antique