MFD holds first-ever open house event

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Maplewood Fire Department celebrated Fire Prevention Month at its Dunnell Road headquarters on Saturday Oct. 13 with an open house, where residents could watch demonstrations and try on firefighting gear, culminating with the dedication of a long-awaited new fire engine.

According to fire Chief Michael Dingelstedt, the new engine is replacing one that has been in use since 1986. It will operate out of Fire Station 2 on Boyden Avenue, and features a logo designed by Maplewood resident Jamie Skiles of Phoenix Design Works. The truck, now known as Engine 32, is one of three fire engines the department uses; the rig was purchased after the department set aside funding for it between 2013 and 2016.

At the Oct. 13 event, firefighters dismantled a car to show residents how they rescue a victim of a car accident, breaking windows and using machinery attached to another fire engine. A fire hose was available for anyone to test their hand at extinguishing flames, and the department also simulated a small fire to demonstrate how firefighters approach running into a burning building.

This was the first open house event for the department, Dingelstedt told the News-Record in an interview at the event.

“We give tours to families, but this is the first formal open house,” he said. “People can get a chance to look at the equipment and see things that they normally don’t get to see. We wanted to get the community to come out and get involved.”

Photos by Amanda Valentovic