According to the 16 Aug 1995 edition of The Independent, Matawan Borough had been relying on Aberdeen Township's fire ladder truck since the Borough's truck had to be sidelined on 19 Nov 1993 when its ladder bent and broke at the South River Metals Company fire in Aberdeen.
Maxum Fire Apparatus, the manufacturer of the truck, had gone out of business in the meantime, so Matawan wasn't able to go back to the company about the $220,000 ladder truck they had bought in 1984 and were still paying for. Maxum's ladders were determined to be defective and pulled from
service nationwide after a fireman in another state died while using
Matawan Mayor Robert Shuey wasn't keen on spending the $300,000 needed to adapt the truck to accept a new heavyweight ladder nor the half million dollars the fire department had been quoted to replace the truck with a bucket truck.The Council was discussing whether to continue to rely on Aberdeen's ladder truck or restore its own capabilities.