Happy to be 100

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The Longport Volunteer Fire Department had a proper escort Saturday from an array of motorcycle officers – Sgt. Tom Adams of the Longport Police Department, Sgt. Martin Peary of the Northfield Police Department, Ptl. Brian Trostle of the Ocean City Police Department, Ptl. Steve Swift of the Margate Police Department and Ptl. Scott Nell of the Egg Harbor Township Police Department.  

 LONGPORT – A terrible fire in 1911, that required the assistance of Ventnor and Atlantic City, convinced the town fathers that Longport should have its own fire department in place to safeguard the small community.

A year later the Longport Volunteer Fire Department started with two pieces of equipment and a willingness to serve the residents.

Over the past century certainly the equipment has improved, and people who jump up from the dinner table or a warm bed in the winter to fight a blaze in Longport have changed, but the desire to help the town has remained constant.

One family, the Adams, has been a constant for more than 50 of those years. Currently Dan Adams is the deputy chief of the department following in the steps of his father and grandfather on the LPVFD. His mother, Winnie Adams, retired just recently from the department.

This sense of commitment and closeness is what keeps the department tight. President of the LPVFD, Anthony Vicchiarelli, said he likes to be able to give something back to his community, as his father did before him and his son does now.

"I enjoy the work and the camaraderie," said Vicchiarelli who said he enjoys going to the station and working with his son.

The bond that exists between firefighters was evident Saturday, June 23 as departments from as far away as Riverside and Florence in Burlington County came down to be a part of the parade and commemorate a century of fire service.

"The spirit of volunteers here epitomizes the spirit of America," said Congressman Frank LoBiondo, a resident of Ventnor. "To continue to work together and to still be here for 100 years is truly amazing and impressive."

Longport Mayor Nick Russo, a Longport volunteer firefighter, referenced Sept. 11, 2001 when he said people realized the professionalism and dangers inherent with the job.

"Our volunteers demonstrate professionalism, courage and pride in the job they volunteer to do," Russo said.

Fire Department Chief Levon Clayton received citations from LoBiondo and Freeholder Frank Giordano among others attesting to the longevity of the volunteer organization.

Several hundred supporters and friends spent a beautiful afternoon along the bay behind Longport Borough Hall, enjoying lunch and to see fire parade.

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Parade Results

Best appearing engine 1,500 or more – Riverside Fire Co. Unit 7011

Best appearing engine 1,500 or less – 1. East Vineland Unit 1220, 2. Linwood Volunteer Fire Co. Unit 51

Best appearing aerial ladder – Riverside Fire Co. Unit 7015

Best appearing aerial platform/snorkel/tower – Florence Fire Co. Unit 4015

Best appearing utility/cascade light/haz-mat – Farmington Unit 1546

Best appearing tanker – East Vineland Unit 1222

Judges Awards – 1. Riverside Fire Co. Unit 7017, 2. Atlantic County Fire Museum,

3. Coast Guard Cape May Honor Guard

Best appearing band – Sandpiper Drum and Bugle

Farthest traveler – Florence Fire Co.

Best appearing – Riverside Fire Co.

Best overall apparatus – East Vineland Fire Co.

Atlantic City Fire Department added an historical prospective with the oldest piece of equipment, circa 1854, entered in the Longport Volunteer Fire Department centennial parade Saturday, June 23. These firefighters spent the day in the smoke, but this time it was just a good old-fashioned barbecue to celebrate the Longport Volunteer Fire Department’s centennial. From left are Capt. Chris Ricciotti of Northfield and Lt. Dan Greenberg of Longport. Sharing lunch at the Longport Volunteer Fire Department centennial celebration is Fire Chief Levon “Lefty” Clayton of Longport and his grandson, Nicholas Bimbo, 5, of Sea Isle. Anthony Vicchiarelli, president of the Longport Fire Department, is surrounded by beautiful women Saturday, June 23 as the department celebrates its centennial. With Vicchiarelli are his granddaughters – 4-month-old Kayla and four-year-old Isabella Vicchiarelli. Brian Meehan, a member of the Longport Beach Patrol, models the shirt available to commemorate the LPFD centennial. Rev. Thomas Sweeney, chaplain of the Cardiff Volunteer Fire Company in Egg Harbor Township, leads the invocation at the Longport Volunteer Fire Department centennial celebration Saturday, June 23. Congressman Frank LoBiondo congratulates Longport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lefty Clayton on the departments’ centennial Saturday, June 23 in Longport.


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