Updated: Jul 1, 2020

The Pennington Fire Company is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Pennington Fire Company life member, Richard Pratt (89). Dick had joined the Pennington Fire Company in 1959 and during his 61 years of service, he held many roles throughout the fire department and community including Captain of Pennington Fire Company Fire Police, as well as Pennington Fire Company President. Dick served 30 plus years as a trustee for the Mercer County Firemen’s Association and also served as a Hopewell Twp. Fire Commissioner from 1988 to 1994.

We thank you for your dedicated service, and will greatly miss your presence.

Rest In Peace Mr. Richard “Dick” Pratt.

At approximately 8:25 PM on Sunday February 3rd, 2019, Station 51 and Rescue 23 (Lawrenceville Fire Company) were dispatched to Blake Dr. in Hopewell Grant for a reported appliance fire. First arriving officers of the Hopewell Township Police Dept. attempted to suppress the fire; however, they were unsuccessful as the fire was already too intense. Chief 51 arrived on scene shortly thereafter and established command. As he made entry into the multi-family structure, he encountered smoke throughout the second division and asked for the box to be filled. This upgrade requested Station 52 (Hopewell Fire Department), Station 53 (Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad), Engine 33 (West Trenton Volunteer Fire Company) and RIT 22 (Lawrence Road Fire Company). Members of both Station 51 and Station 23 were already in quarters and quickly responded following the initial tones. Tower 51 was the first due unit to the scene followed soon after by Rescue 51 and Rescue 23. Tower 51 stretched a line to the front door. The tower crew made entry along with a member of 23 and located the fire room on the second floor. Arriving crews of Rescue 51 made entry to conduct primary searches of the residence. A water supply was established from a nearby hydrant by next due units. Members of Rescue 51 ascended the stairs to the second division where they were able to locate a cat within the residence and remove it. The cat was evaluated and treated by Ambulance 151 (Pennington First Aid Squad) and returned to its owners. The fire was quickly knocked down; preventing it from spreading throughout the structure. Tower 51’s aerial was raised to gain access to the roof to ventilate the structure; however, with the rapid extinguishment, no cuts were needed. The fire was officially placed under control by Chief 51 around 8:50PM. Crews continue to work on scene conducting overhaul operations to ensure no extension had occurred. Units were on scene for approximately 2 hours.

Tower 60 (Princeton Fire Department) and Engine 31 (Prospect Heights Volunteer Fire Company) were assigned to cover Station 51.

Thank you to all responding companies especially our mutual aid partners.

No further details will be released regarding this incident.

*Approved for release by Chief 51

Meet Chris Womack! Chris, a permanent resident of Pennington borough for three years now, has been an exceptional addition to our membership. Chris grew up here in Hopewell Township in Brandon Farms with his family. Following his graduation from Hopewell Valley Central High School in 2009, he attended Rutgers business school where he received a B.S. degrees in Supply Chain Management and Marketing Science. Chris has returned to Pennington and is currently employed with Johnson and Johnson.

After joining Station 51 in December of 2015, Chris quickly got involved and attended Mercer County’s Firefighter I course. He graduated from Firefighter I at the end of the fall semester of 2015. Since then, Chris has continued to build his first responder resume. He is now certified in auto extrication and swift water rescue, both at the technician level. In 2017, Chris was awarded a Top 10 responder award and he is on track to win the same award for this year. Chris will enroll in an EMT course in 2019 as well.

Most recently, Chris suited up for a water rescue here in Hopewell Township during a storm that produced significant rainfall. A vehicle with three occupants became disabled in flood waters from a nearby stream around 23:30 on Saturday November 24th. Upon arrival of our crew, Special Services 51’s boat was quickly inflated, loaded with rescue gear including personal flotation devices and tied off to an anchor. Chris Womack along with Jim Ferry, a member of Station 52 (Hopewell Fire Department), made entry into the water. The vehicle, which was stranded in 2 feet of water, was located 50 feet from the area in which the boat entered the water. The occupants of the vehicle were extricated, loaded into the boat and brought to shore safely.

Pictured are five of our members at a dewatering assignment during a storm earlier this year. From left to right: FF Joe Dev, FF Chris Easton, FF Matt Neubert, FF Chris Womack and FF Myles Ackerson

the night of November 23rd/24th was quite busy for Station 51 as a result of the rain storm. Here is a rundown of the incidents we were dispatched to throughout the night:

17:17 – Cover Assignment at Station 22 (Lawrence Road Fire Company) while they operated at a 3 alarm residential structure fire with exposure issues. Engine 51 covered their station for approximately 2 hours.

23:02 – Vehicle fire involving a skid loader. This incident was handled by station 52 (Hopewell Fire Department) and we were recalled prior to arrival

23:08 – Uncontrolled water leak

23:38 – Water rescue with the occupants out of the vehicle upon arrival

23:44 – Commercial fire alarm activation

00:20 – Water rescue of 3 occupants in a stranded vehicle on a flooded roadway. A member of our department and a member of station 52, both with swift water training, used our boat to rescue the individuals safely. Station 23 (Lawrenceville Fire Company) assisted with this call as well.

01:40 – Uncontrolled water leak

02:17 – Uncontrolled water leak

07:33 – Dewatering assignment

09:06 – Dewatering assignment

09:34 – Uncontrolled water leak

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about our calls: https://.twitter.com/Pennington_Fire?lang=en

Auntie Anne’s fundraising program support Pennington Fire Company. Your friends and relatives can order online to support this fundraiser.

A portion of every customer’s purchase will go to our department. The fundraiser will be active all day online. AuntieAnne’s not only serves some of the best rolling delicious pretzels around, but also a delicious selection of cookies.

If you have any questions about our department or this event, please feel free to reach out to our member – Shannan atssmonte51@yahoo.com, she will be happy to help.

Steps to Order Online:

  1. Go to the online sales website at “https://needsyoursupport.org”

  2. Log in with 104994 for Group ID and NJ for state and click “GO!”

  3. Choose the seller name as “Shannan Warwick” to support.

  4. Customers can choose to ship items to your group or have items shipped directly to their home as soon as the order is processed.

  5. Payment is accepted via credit card or PayPal.

Thank you for supporting Pennington Fire Company!


Meet Tom Grundy! Tom has been a member of Station 51 since his senior year at Hopewell Valley Central High School. Tom’s brothers, FF Vaughan Grundy and FF James Grundy encouraged Tom to apply to our department. In high school, Tom played basketball and raised money for cancer by running “Barbeque for the Cure” with some of his friends before football games. Just like his brothers, Tom is an active volunteer with our department and responds to calls whenever he can while continuing to study at Rider University. Tom is currently studying business administration at Rider and after college he hopes to work in construction focusing on the management side. He graduated from his Firefighter I course in January of this year. In the coming months, Tom plans to take additional courses about motor vehicle accident rescue as well as higher level classes of Incident Command System. In his free time, Tom enjoys hunting and fishing and also shoots sporting clays competitively. He has been an all state shooter for 2 years and has shot in 3 U.S. opens across the country. Keep up the great work Tom!

On Monday November 5th at 17:05 Station 51, along with all other Hopewell fire companies and Rescue 23 (Lawrenceville Fire Company), were detailed to Shrewsbury Ct. of Brandon Farms in Hopewell Township for a structure fire. Deputy 51 arrived on scene with fire showing from the A/D corner of an end unit of a multi family structure. Deputy 51 established command and requested the 1st alarm. This upgrade added an additional tower out of Lawrence as well as RIT 30 (Ewing Fire Division 30).

Rescue 51 and Rescue 23 arrived simultaneously. Rescue 51 established a water supply and laid in to the structure. 1.75” lines were immediately pulled and stretched to the building. Rescue 23 was tasked with interior attack while the Rescue 51 crew was sent to the roof to begin ventilation operations. Tower 51 was ordered to position itself in front of the structure and raise the aerial to begin master stream operations. Station 51 put its entire fleet on the road besides Special Services 51 and Brush 51. Command placed the fire, which was contained to a single unit, under control 30 minutes after the initial dispatch. Units were released after overhaul operations were complete. All Pennington units cleared the scene within 2 hours. Lawrence companies responded directly from the scene to a reported appliance fire in their district.

Tower 60 (Princeton Fire Department), Engine 31 (Prospect Heights Volunteer Fire Company) and Tanker 71 (Upper Makefield Fire Company) covered our house while we operated at this incident. Thank you to these stations and all other mutual aid companies for your assistance!

At 02:58 on Wednesday October 10th, Station 51 was called out to a residential structure fire on Pennington Rocky Hill Rd. in Hopewell Township. The dispatch was an immediate first alarm which included Station 51, Station 52, Station 53, RIT 22 (Lawrence Road Fire Company) and Tower 60 (Princeton Fire Department). Officers from the Hopewell Township Police Department arrived on scene first and confirmed a working structure fire. Chief 52 (Hopewell Fire Department) was the first arriving fire unit and informed all responding units of heavy fire conditions. Apparatus Station 51 and 52 were on scene shortly there after and established an immediate water supply using a hydrant directly across the street. Crews made entry into the structure by forcing the front door. Interior crews eventually experienced hazardous conditions and at this point the fire was through the roof. An emergency evacuation procedure was initiated and crews exited the structure. Operations went into defensive mode to suppress the flames from the exterior. Eventually the fire was knocked and crews returned to interior operations to hit hotspots and begin overhauling. The fire was out by 5:00AM. Station 51 apparatus returned to quarters around 6:00AM.

Cover assignments were established for all valley companies during this incident. Initially, Engine 31 (Prospect Heights Fire Company) and Tower 23 (Lawrenceville Fire Company) were sent to cover Station 51. Eventually these units were requested to the scene by command for additional manpower. Ladder 49 (Plainsboro Fire Company) was then dispatched to take their place. Thank you to these companies for covering our station!

List of responding units to this incident (including some cover assignments):

  • -Station 52 (Hopewell Fire Department)
  • -Station 53 (Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad)
  • -Squad 151 (Pennington First Aid Squad)
  • -Squad 152 (Hopewell EMS)
  • -RIT 22 (Lawrence Road Fire Company)
  • -Tower 23 (Lawrenceville Fire Company)
  • -Engine 31 (Prospect Heights Fire Company)
  • -Ladder 49 (Plainsboro Fire Company)
  • -Tower 60 (Princeton Fire Department)
  • -Engine 46 (Montgomery Twp. Fire Company #2)
  • -Engine 26 (West Amwell Twp. Fire Company)