The Squankum Volunteer Fire Company #1 was organized as the Camp Housman Fire Company on December 12, 1950. It was originally based in a one-bay garage on Hurley Pond Road. This was on the Camp Housman Boy Scout Camp operated by the Boy Scouts of America, where thousands of Boy Scouts gathered and camped each year.
Live-in Scout Camp Ranger Carl A. Thunnel felt that although the efforts of the older Boy Scouts belonging to the camp fire brigade had so far been sufficient in suppressing fire outbreaks, that the presence of adult firemen in a fire company would supply a much greater measure of safety for the campers.
Following its organization, the Boy Scouts of America supplied the new fire company with a 1949 Studebaker fire wagon. During that same year of 1951, the company purchased a 1925 Ahrens-Fox pumper. The following year the company sold the Ahrens-Fox and purchased a 1936 Dodge Brothers (750 gallon) tank truck.
In 1953, with the additional equipment and a growing membership, it was decided that the company needed to secure its own firehouse to better serve the surrounding community. After a long and arduous search, the Camp Housman fire company finally found a piece of land, where the current firehouse stands, and purchased it on December 16, 1954 for the sum of $350.00.
In 1955 Camp Housman Fire Company returned the Studebaker Fire Wagon to the B.S.A. and left the Boy Scout Camp with one fire truck and a handful of equipment. Shortly after, a 1942 Ford fire truck was purchased from the Princeton Fire Department for $960.00.
With a new home, the Camp Houseman Fire Company officially changed its name to the Squankum Fire Company #1 on March 29, 1955. For the next two and one half years the fire trucks would be kept in various barns and outbuildings around the Squankum area. Members were alerted of a fire by telephone and by an old siren that sometimes worked. During the winter months, the trucks had to be drained of water because of freezing. If the trucks were needed for a fire, they would first have to be filled with water by drafting from a stream or river, before responding.
Finally on September 22, 1956 ground was broken on the new firehouse- a concrete block building, approximately 30x40 with two truck bays, a meeting room, furnace room and bathroom. Because all of the construction was performed by the firemen and volunteers, the new firehouse was not ready to house the fire trucks until mid 1957.
The Company's next fire truck and the last truck the company would purchase before the adoption of fire districts, was a 1946 Chevrolet with a 900-gallon tank and a 250 g.p.m. front mounted pump, purchased from the Southard Fire Company for $2001.51.
In 1963, the Board of Fire Commissioners ordered a new 1964 Ford-Hahn 750 g.p.m., two-stage pumper with a 1000-gallon booster tank. To house the new pumper, a truck bay addition was added on the south side of the building. The pumper was delivered on May 29, 1964, allowing the fire company to be classified as a class A fire company by the National Board of Fire Underwriters.
During this time the fire company experienced a large increase in membership, and in the amount of fire calls answered.
In 1969, the district's second new pumper arrived, a 1969 Ford-Hahn 750 g.p.m., two-stage pumper with a 500-gallon booster tank. With the increase in fire calls, the fire company found that it needed two more specialized pieces of apparatus in order to supply proper fire protection to the district. In the early 1970's, an army surplus truck was loaned to the company from the state and transformed into a woods truck by the members. Around the same time, two very used articulated tankers were acquired to transport water to the fire scene. It was decided at this time that the apparatus color would be changed from traditional red to lime yellow. In 1976 a large truck bay addition was added to the North side of the firehouse to house the two tankers.
Seventeen years would go by before the next new pumper would be purchased. In 1986 a new 1985 Hahn 1500 g.p.m. custom pumper was delivered and the most recent addition to the firehouse was started. This addition was two stories, with a truck bay, restroom, closets and radio room on the first floor and a meeting room, office, restrooms and a kitchen on the second floor. From this point, new apparatus was purchased almost on a regular basis. In 1990 a new Mack tractor was purchased for the tanker. In 1995 a new 1500 g.p.m. KME custom pumper was purchased, replacing the districts first two new pumpers from 1644 and 1969. In 1998 another army surplus truck was converted to a brush truck with compressed foam and a new International rescue truck was purchased. In 1999 a new 6000-gallon trailer was delivered for the tanker, and in 2001 a new Seagrave ladder truck was purchased.
In 2000, with the increased manpower, the fire company was able to provide further service to the community by responding to EMS calls within the district as first responders. Currently the fire company has approximately 40 members and responds with a pumper, ladder, rescue, tanker and a brush truck. Although the Squankum fire company is the youngest company in Howell Township , it has grown to be among the best trained and well equipped in the county.