Neptune Firefighters assist at 2-alarm fire in Asbury Park

During the evening of July 22, the Neptune Fire Department‘s Unexcelled Fire Company was called to neighboring Asbury Park for a reported structure fire.

The incident was located on Memorial Drive near Springwood Avenue.

Upon arrival, first due fire units from APFD found two separate buildings on fire.  They immediately began battling the two blazes, securing a water supply, stretching hose lines and performed searches.

A second alarm was transmitted by Asbury Park Fire Department command.

Firefighters battled the fires for several hours.  In addition to firefighters from Asbury Park and Unexcelled Fire, units from Ocean Township, Tinton Falls, Allenhurst and Ocean Grove assisted city firefighters.

The fire is under investigation by the Asbury Park Fire Department, Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office and Monmouth County Prosecutors Office.

2-Alarm House Fire on Allenhurst Avenue

IMG_4045aA general alarm was transmitted for a reported house fire at 102 Allenhurst Avenue on September 3, 2016 at approximately 11:23 pm.

Upon arrival of Fire Chief Daniel Harker, he found a fully involved house fire.

A second alarm was transmitted.

The Unexcelled Fire Company responded with Tower Ladder 34-4-90 as the first due truck and Engine 34-4-75.

Upon arrival, there was heavy fire throughout the one story private dwelling.  The first and second due engines quickly deployed handlines and began suppressing the fire.

IMG_4033The home sustained heavy damage throughout, in addition to the loss of two cars that also caught fire prior to the fire department’s arrival.

One firefighter was injured and transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

In addition to Unexcelled Fire Company units on scene, Hamilton Engine 34-1-75, Shark River Hills Engines 34-3-75 and 34-3-76 and Liberty Engine 34-2-75 and 34-2-86 battled the fire.  Also, Tinton Falls was on scene as the Rapid Intervention (R.I.T.) Team.

The fire is under investigation by the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Neptune Fire Bureau.

Photos provided by Neptune EMS Chief Bil Rosen and



Car crashes into home in Neptune Township

IMG_6292NEPTUNE, NJ:  On May 18, 2015 at 5:45pm, the Fire Department, Police Department and EMS were dispatched to a reported car into a house.  The incident was reported to be at 753 Wayside Road, near Rhodes Terrace in Neptune Township.

Upon arrival of Neptune Assistant Fire Chief Daniel Harker, he found that a passenger car had crashed into a single family home resulting in moderate structural damage.

Chief Harker established command and requested the Neptune Township Special Operations Team – Station 34-8 – be dispatched.

Also assigned through automatic mutual aid was South Wall Fire Rescue’s Special Operations Team from Wall Township, who responds with Rescue 52-3-86 and their Collapse Trailer.

IMG_6294Neptune Special Operations Team Leader Donald Colarusso arrived along with Shark River Hills Fire Company.  A scene assessment was made, as well as a primary search of the dwelling.

As additional Special Operations Team assets were arriving, an Incident Action Plan was developed.

The command staff was organized with a transfer of command to Donald Colarusso. Chief Harker was assigned Fire Branch Director and Bil Rosen was assigned Medical Branch Director.

Special Operations Assistant Team Leader Joseph Mauro was assigned as the Operations Section Chief, and upon arrival of South Wall Fire Rescue, Chief John Sahatjian was also assigned to the command staff.

IMG_6295A quick briefing was held to communicate the incident action plan and solicit feedback.  Then members were tasked with executing the plan.

Manpower was assigned to the various tasks. These included placing struts, constructing the shores, working the cutting station, monitoring the surveyors transit, safety, planning and other logistical tasks.

Crews first placed struts under the front header of the garage, and then constructed a double vertical shore.

Once that was completed, crews accessed the garage and placed struts.  They then constructed a three-post vertical shore.

Upon completion of the shoring, team members connected a Grip Hoist to the vehicle so the removal could be slow and controlled.  The vehicle was into the foundation tight.  All attempts were made to keep the corner masonry wall in place.  Despite being damaged, it was still supporting that corner of the structure above it.

IMG_6296The vehicle was successfully removed without any further damage.

This was the first Special Operations Team deployment with a recently signed automatic aid agreement between Neptune Township and South Wall Fire Rescue (Wall Fire District #3). The teams had previously trained together, and during this incident, team members worked incredibly well as a group.

The driver of the vehicle sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene by EMS.


Units that operated on scene included:

  • Neptune Special Operations Team, Station 34-8
  • South Wall Special Operations Team, Station 52-3
  • Neptune Office of Emergency Management
  • Unexcelled Fire Company, Ladder 34-4-90
  • Shark River Hills Fire Company, Engine 34-3-76
  • Neptune OEM, Field-Com 34-9-97
  • Neptune OEM, Special Operations 34-9-85
  • Neptune OEM, Collapse Trailer
  • Shark River Hills First Aid, MAB-2 Ambulance Bus
  • Neptune EMS
  • Neptune Police
  • Neptune Building Department





Fire Damages Embury Avenue Apartment Building in Neptune

IMG_4276aOn March 25 at 11:49 PM, a Neptune Fire Department “General Alarm” was transmitted for a reported bathroom fire at 1117 Embury Avenue, Apartment #27.  This building is the Neptune Housing Authoriy’s William Steele Apartments.

Upon arrival of Assistant Chief Daniel Harker, smoke was visible from the two and one half story occupied apartment building.  According to the chief’s radio report, smoke was visible from the soffits, eves and roof vents.  Shortly thereafter, the fire became visible through the roof.

A second alarm was transmitted, bringing cover assignments from neighboring towns and a Rapid Intervention Team.

Unexcelled Fire Company Engine 34-4-75 was first due and established a water supply from a hydrant directly across the street from the fire building.  Crews immediately deployed a hoseline and ascended to the second floor apartment.  The fire appeared to be in the attic space above the bathroom.

Unexcelled firefighters made an aggressive attack, quickly opening up the ceilings to expose suppress the fire.  Also at this time, Shark River Hills Engine 34-3-76 and Unexcelled Tower Ladder 34-4-90 arrived.

IMG_4264aThe crew from 34-3-76 stretched a second line to the adjoining apartment (#28) and immediately checked for fire spread.  The crew from TL 34-4-90 performed outside ventilation and roof ventilation.

Primary and secondary searches were performed by firefighters from Unexcelled and Shark River Hills.

The fire was brought under control after approximately 30 minutes.

No injuries were reported at the scene.

Other Neptune Fire Department companies on scene included Liberty and Hamilton.  In addition, Tinton Falls fire company responded as the RIT team; Neptune Office of Emergency Management, Neptune EMS and Neptune Police were on scene.

The fire is under investigation by the Neptune Fire Marshal 34-30 and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Photo (top) provided courtesy of Rozziel Murrin
Photo (bottom) from Facebook




Basement Fire on Leonard Avenue extinguished

IMG_3886A Neptune Fire Department General Alarm was transmitted at 8:13 PM on March 20 for a reported basement fire at 126 Leonard Avenue.

First arriving fire units found a working fire in the basement of a one story private dwelling.

Unexcelled Engine 34-4-75 arrived shortly after the first due engine, and immediately went to work assisting the initial hoseline and stretching a secondary hoseline.

Ladder 34-4-90 arrived shortly after Engine 34-4-75.

Primary and secondary searches were performed and were negative.

The fire was brought under control after approximately 30 minutes.

The fire is under investigation by the Neptune Fire Marshal and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Neptune Fire Department units on scene included Liberty Fire Company (first due), Shark River Hills Fire Company and Hamilton Fire Company.

Mutual Aid to assist at the scene and for cover assignments included Tinton Falls (to the scene, assigned as the RIT), Neptune City Fire Department, Oakhurst Fire Department, Glendola Fire Company and Avon Fire Department.

Photo shown courtesy of Shore Area News Dispatch on Facebook


Ladder Company Training held for Neptune Firefighters

IMG_3870A Ladder Company Placement training class was offered to the Neptune Fire Department on March 18 and 19.

Members of the Unexcelled Fire Company were in attendance with their Tower Ladder 34-4-90.

On the first night, students received a classroom lecture session, which was held at Neptune Fire Department’s Station 1.

The second night was hands-on.  This session was held at both Station 1 and then at a construction site off of Jumping Brook Road.

The construction site is home to a community of three (plus) story apartment buildings, which offered a great opportunity to place and operate Unexcelled’s tower ladder 34-4-90.

The class was presented by the Monmouth County Fire Academy.


Firefighters participated in aggressive Search and Rescue Drill

Fifteen members of Neptune Fire Department’s Unexcelled Fire Company attended a search and rescue drill on Monday, March 16.

Students were placed in two different scenarios that reinforced aggressive search techniques, transmitting “urgent” radio messages, victim rescue and removals, rapid egress and situational awareness.

The first  scenario was a second floor search.  Each students was placed at the bottom of a staircase with zero visibility.  He was instructed to ascended the stairs and performed a search of the second floor, which was cluttered with obstacles.  Upon locating the victim, an “urgent” message was transmitted and the students then removed the victim.

IMG_3798The second scenario included a search of a first floor area. Under zero visibility conditions, the students first entered an entanglement prop.  Once through the prop, they then proceeded through a maze that included dead ends and a simulated stairwell collapse.  Once they reached the very end of the maze, they were told that the fire was rapidly intensifying and they had seconds to rapidly egress from the last exit point that they had found – a first floor window.  Students exited head first out of the window to safety.

The training session was held at All Hands Fire Training Center located in Neptune City.

For further information on training drills scheduled for the Unexcelled Fire Company in 2015, please visit of contact



Neptune Special Operations Team does Collapse Training at vacant house

IMG_3728On March 15, members of the Neptune Special Operations Team conducted a training drill at a vacant building on Division Street.

The two story private dwelling, scheduled for demolition, was a simulated “compromised” structure.  Team members were divided into groups – a reconnaissance group to identify the damage and life hazard; and, logistics group to stage the equipment, staff the cut station and equipment movement as needed.

The incident action plan was to first placed a strut at the front door and struts to the objective area.  Then wood shoring would be built around the struts to fortify the structure.

The shoring that were constructed by the team included a door shore and a double vertical shore.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to train at a vacant building because for the most part it is not simulated”, said Donald Colarusso, Neptune Special Operations Team Leader.  “This type of building, it’s real construction as opposed to a simulator or pre-build structure specifically for training.”

IMG_3726The drill started at 8:30 am and lasted for approximately two hours.

Units on scene included OEM unit 34-9-85, Special Operations Collapse Trailer, Unexcelled Ladder 34-4-90 and Shark River Hills EMS unit 34-3-56.

The Neptune Special Operations Team is comprised of members from Neptune Township’s Emergency Service organizations including the Neptune Township Office of Emergency Management, Neptune Fire Department’s Unexcelled Fire Company and Shark River Hills Fire Company, and Neptune Emergency Medical Services.

For more information about Neptune’s Special Operations Team, please contact Donald Colarusso at



Happy 100th Anniversary to FDNY Rescue Company 1

IMG_3604On March 8, 2015, the Fire Department of New York’s Rescue Company No. 1 celebrated 100 years of service.

The centennial ceremony was held at Rescue 1’s firehouse located at 530 West 43rd Street in Manhattan, with dignitaries including the Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, Chief of Department James Leonard and others.

The company commander, Captain Rex Morris, was the master of ceremonies for the event.

Active and retired Rescue 1 members, as well as family members, friends of the company and members from other FDNY companies filled the firehouse and overflowed to a party tent that was just outside the door on 43rd Street.

IMG_3609Several Unexcelled Fire Company firefighters and long time friends of Rescue 1 were also in attendance.  Over the years, our members have visited, trained with and established friendships with these men.

Following the ceremony, attendees made their way to the Yotel Building, located around the corner on 10th Avenue, for the presentation of awards and after party.

The Unexcelled Fire Company extends our congratulations and best wishes to our friends and brother’s of Rescue 1.

Photo:  Unexcelled Firefighter Frank Sutphin, Honorary FDNY Chief Ray Maquire, FDNY Retired Captain Al Fuentes and Unexcelled Lieutenant Donald Colarusso. 

About Us: Unexcelled Fire Company’s Rapid Intervention Team

120608_myrtleave_002The Unexcelled Fire Company has a proud tradition of training, service and dedication.  Those valuable traits have been, and continue to be, the foundation of the company and it’s members for over 125 years.

One very important function that the company provides and continually works on is it’s designation as a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT).

Identifying and creating this program for this area was established in the late 1990’s and was referred to then as a Firefighter Assistance and Search Team (FAST),  This was modeled after the New York City Fire Department’s F.A.S.T. trucks that were assigned to working fires.

In those early years, Unexcelled Firefighters were taught by instructors that were among the best, and were offering some aggressive and tough programs.

IMG_3328In April 2001, a joint training drill was held at the Evans Area Military Base with the Fort Monmouth Fire Department and Wall Township firefighters.

Instructors from the FDNY – Battalion Chief Donald Hayden and Lieutenant Sal Marchese – presented this intense firefighter rescue training program at one of the large vacant buildings on the base.

* See photo left.

Students were taught how to rescue firefighters who had fallen through a floor (Nance Drill), drags, carries, firefighter movement up and down stairs, using a ladder as a high point, and more.

As time went on, the company was being requested more and more to working fires in neighboring towns.  The importance of having a RIT team on scene, and fire department’s satisfying the “2-in / 2-out” rule was incredibly important.  Our company was getting better in being a valuable resource to incident commanders and to firefighters operating at fires.

Then and now, our RIT team was proactive, throwing ground ladders, ensuring that there was accountability, and being an extra set of eyes and ears for fire chief’s.

On December 27, 2001, the Unexcelled Fire Company received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Long Branch Fire Department.  This award was presented for our service as a Rapid Intervention Team during a major fire at the Monmouth Rubber Fire, which occurred earlier that year on February 13.

Company drills were continually held, practicing firefighter packaging, firefighter removals and other maneuvers that were learned.

021905_clearwater_142aThen in 2003, Unexcelled Firefighters attended the Firefighter Rescue & Survival School in Clearwater, Florida.  This three day program was taught by members from FDNY Rescue Company 1, and was an incredibly challenging program.  The program included classroom sessions and a great deal of hands-on training.

The practical sessions included structural collapse courses with a variety of challenges and rescues.

Unexcelled Firefighters returned to this class each year it was held, 2003-2005.


Today, the Unexcelled Fire Company continues to train incredibly hard and take advantage of every opportunity available.

In 2014, Unexcelled Firefighters received permission to use a vacant 2-1/2-story house on Embury Avenue for training.  A Firefighter Rescue Class was developed and offered to the entire Neptune Fire Department.

Members received the RIT Awareness class a few days earlier, and then presented the hands-on session.

Each participant was rotated through various skill stations that trained them on the Denver Drill, the Nance Drill, a Vent-Enter-Search Drill and a challenge course under duress (zero visibility and loud radio transmissions).  Following the skill stations, the students participated in firefighter rescue scenarios.

The Unexcelled Fire Company provides mutual aid as a Rapid Intervention Team not only to our neighbors, but when called county-wide and elsewhere.  Presently, we respond to working fires in the City of Asbury Park, the City of Long Branch, Neptune City, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove, Avon, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, Allenhurst, Eatontown, Oceanport, Spring Lake Heights, Monmouth Beach, West Long Branch and several other towns.

Ocean County RIT 2014We are also a recognized Rapid Intervention Team by the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office and for over 10 years as an Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office certified F.A.S.T. Team.

We are very proud to have the designation through Ocean County.  That process includes an audit every three years and an inspection of our equipment and training records by the Ocean County Fire Marshal.

* See photo right

The Unexcelled Fire Company continues to work and train hard to provide the highest level of service to our neighboring towns and our brother and sister firefighters.

For questions or training information, please feel free to contact  



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