More than 53 years ago Ernest N. Day began the process of donating many pieces of fire apparatus and fire memorabilia to the state of New Jersey. There was an explicit agreement between Ernest N. Day and the state to establish a fire museum. For most of that time these artifacts, apparatus and memorabilia were stored in less than satisfactory conditions.
About two years ago the board of directors – all volunteers – of the nonprofit NJ Fire Museum & Fallen Firefighters Memorial in cooperation with DEP State Parks arranged for the transfer of the apparatus to an improved storage facility outside of Allentown. The remaining memorabilia will also be moved to this improved site. For the last 3-1/2 years DEP State Parks has represented and offered a site simply known as “Brisbane” for the museum location. This would entail the repurposing of an existing school structure on that site. Additionally, it is in a perfect quiet and wooded location for the planned Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
We have just recently become aware that there are decisions being made at very high levels in the state that might deny the museum the Brisbane site. If that happens it will be another example of the state failing to honor its commitment to Ernest N. Day.
For more info, people can check out the Facebook page: “NJ Fire Museum” or go to the website: www.njfiremuseum.org. The website has a donate page, and info on joining, as well as a link to the memorial website.
– Fire News photos courtesy of Helen Burns