Serving West Paterson since 1922
The Rifle Camp Fire Company #3 nicknamed the "Ridge Runners" came into being in 1922 as a result of the foresight and hard work of a group of outstanding West Paterson residents, who realized a need for a third fire company.
The first meeting of this group was held in June 1922. The Passaic Valley Hose Co. #2 of West Paterson had received a new fire engine and offered it’s old engine to the Rifle Camp Road group, provided the latter would show enough interest to organize a fire company in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State of New Jersey.
October 1922 was a big month in the history of the Rifle Camp Fire Company. In this month the incorporation papers were filed and the fire engine was received from the Passaic Valley Hose Company. At this point Cassons’ Barn was selected to house the equipment. This was approximately one half mile from the present site of the firehouse.
In April 1923 a deed was secured for a new firehouse from the Zurcher family. In May of the same year, construction of the new firehouse began. Selling bonds to interested parties derived funds for the building. With the fire engine from Company #2 and the first requisition from the Borough, two pairs of boots, two rubber coats, one ax, two lanterns, and four five-gallon Indian Tanks were obtained giving our company its start. In the early days of the fire company, the borough council purchased a new REO Hose Wagon.
This unit was replaced in 1940 with a GMC Pumper, with a 500 GPM pump and 200-gallon tank. During the year 1956, Company #3 started a building fund drive for an addition to the firehouse and renovation of the hall to make it one of the nicest in the area for its time. This was done by soliciting contributions, conducting picnics, dances, and other social affairs.
In February 1958 a new FWD Pumper with a 750 GPM / 3 stage high-pressure pump and a 500 Gallon Tank, was placed in service. At this time our 1940 GMC was made the second in line engine designated Engine 6.
Then in 1967 a new apparatus was purchased for company #3. The 1967 FWD Tanker, with a 750 GPM Pump, and 1,000-gallon tank replaced the 1958 FWD Pumper. The '40 GMC was replaced with the 1958 FWD Pumper with a 750 GPM / 3 stage high-pressure pump and a 500 Gallon Tank becoming Engine 6.
This apparatus remained in service until 1982 when a Hahn white over red Pumper with a 1250 GPM pump and a 500-gallon tank was placed in service and designated Engine 3. The 1967 FWD was refurbished to resemble the Hahn and ran as Engine 6. Also, at this time the booster tank was reduced to 700 gallons.
Two other noteworthy acquisitions of this fire company are:
A 1954 GMC, 750 GPM, 250-gallon Pumper.(Ex-Little Falls Engine #2) Restored and is running as Engine #9.
A 1952 Dodge Military M37 Truck Chassis, which was donated to this company in 1985 and outfitted with a custom body and pump 80 GPM 150 gallons extensively, used for fighting brush fires. It ran for 9 years as Unit 3 and was retired from service in 1991.
After being sold to Little Falls Fire Department, the 1941 GMC Pumper, was brought back home in 1982 and has undergone a complete frame up, award winning restoration completed in June 2000.
In November of 1997 The Ridge Runners, Rifle Camp Fire Company 3 celebrated it’s 75th Anniversary of serving the residents of West Paterson and Northern New Jersey.
In August of 2001 Rifle Camp Fire Company 3 took delivery of a new Pierce Lance Pumper designated Engine 3. It is equipped with a ten-man cab, a 2000 GPM pump and carries 500 gallons of water. The 1967 FWD was retired and the 1982 Hahn, which will be re-furbished, is operating as Engine 6.
With a renovation of our bays, and new apparatus in the fire station, In 2006 we added a new Unit 3 to our fleet.
In August of 2001 Rifle Camp Fire Company 3 took delivery of a new Pierce Lance Pumper designated Engine 3. It is equipped with a ten-man cab, a 2000 GPM pump and carries 500 gallons of water. The 1967 FWD was retired at that time and the 1982 Hahn began operating as Engine 6 until June 2010 when it will be replaced with a new pumper, designated Engine 4. The 2010 Pierce Arrow XT will have a 2000 GPM pump and carries 500 gallons of water. In 2009 the fire company also took delivery of a new rescue boat designated Marine 3.