Bob Moss Builders began the construction of the Hampton Lakes development in 1956, and after many of the homes were completed and newly occupied, the residents in the neighborhood convened to establish a new fire company to assist the township in protecting its new residents. Thirteen men became the charter members of the HLVFC, which first incorporated in 1957.
The fire company's first purchase was a Willy's Jeep, bought from the nearby Fort Dix Army Base. Using their personal homes as collateral, several of the members were able to get a loan from a bank to make the purchase. A resident in the neighborhood owned a small building next to his house, and offered it to the firemen to use to house their new equipment. During the winter months, volunteers would stay awake through the cold night, keeping a kerosene heater lit so that the apparatus could start in the freezing weather.
In the early 1970's, Southampton township began to set aside a $1500/year allotment to assist with paying bills and keeping the equipment updated. By the end of the decade, a resident of Southampton donated a piece of property across the street from the old building, and gave the fire company a loan to begin construction of a new property that would house not only the fire company, but also the Hampton Lakes Emergency Squad. A large portion of the materials needed to complete construction were donated by local businesses, however the fire company members with assistance from local residents constructed the building themselves, which is the same today as it was then. With time, the Hampton Lakes Emergency Squad moved out and now has their own building, down the street from the fire company, and the HLVFC took full ownership of the property.
The Hampton Lakes Volunteer Fire Company #1 continues to serve the residents of the Hampton Lakes development, as well as the entirety of Southampton Township. The HLVFC survives off of fundraisers and fund drives, just to keep our doors open and continue to roll trucks on calls. Southampton Township now supplies us with a $30,000 allotment every year, which covers about 30% of our operating costs. The remaining $70,000 every year comes from generous donations we receive from residents and our neighbors. However to purchase new gear, apparatus, and equipment, grant money is needed. Today we have over 35 active members, including 22 NJ certified firefighters, 10 NJ certified EMT's, and 8 junior firefighters.
All members are trained to First Responder level EMS care, as well as Fire Police. The fire company continues to own the building and all apparatus with the exception of one engine. For over 50 years, the fire company continues to stay open because of the generous time our volunteer members give up to keep the company alive.