The Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 was organized on February 14th, 1895 by a group of residents who realized the need for fire protection in the community. One of the first in the area, the fire company originally operated out of a single-car garage on Jaynes Avenue and later upgraded to a two-story firehouse located on the corner of Van Sant and Simpson Avenues in 1923 (currently occupied by the Ocean County String Band).
During this time, a number of fire engines were purchased and utilized to support the mission of the fire company. Shortly after moving into the new firehouse in 1923, the company purchased a new fire engine to add to the existing fleet. The engine was a 1928 Ahrens-Fox pumper which not only served the company for almost a century, but, to this day, continues to remain in service.
After responding out of that firehouse for four decades, the company built and relocated into the current firehouse located on the corner of Lake and Maple Avenues near the entrance to town. The current firehouse has provided not only a hall for rent, but also a large parking lot in the rear, most notably known as the venue of the fire company’s annual Summerbrew block party. While Bingo was a main source of fundraising income for the company over the years, it was sadly ended in the early 2000s, allowing the company to renovate the hall and add an office, workshop and storage area. The size of the hall decreased, but is still available for rent.
Although the buildings and apparatus have changed through the years, the mission and many of the faces have not. The fire company continues to focus on protecting the community and preserving life and property as they did over a century ago.