Apparatus, Ciampo, Features, Pumpers, Rescues

Compartment Corner: Garfield (NJ) Rescue Engine Company 3


By Michael N. Ciampo

Garfield is located in southern Bergen County, New Jersey, a few miles across the Hudson River from New York City. The city is a residential community with light industry nestled into various sections of it. It once hosted larger industrial complexes but since has downsized and become more of a residential and suburban area. The city is dotted with housing developments that host one- and two-family dwellings and also has areas where large three-story framed dwellings sit a few feet from each other. These areas can quickly escalate to multiple-alarm fires because of the proximity of the structures to one another. Garfield borders Passaic County, New Jersey to its west as a section of it sits on the eastern shoreline of the Passaic River. Often the department will run mutual aid to Passaic and Clifton because of the proximity and bridges that cross the river into these cities.

Originally organized in 1893, the Garfield (NJ) Fire Department now is a fully staffed volunteer department and operates out of five fire stations, running: three engine companies, one rescue-engine, one unique ladder truck (tiller with a tank and pump), a hazmat unit, a rescue boat, and foam tender. It covers more than two square miles and has New Jersey Route 46 ighway running through the city as well as the NJ Transit Bergen County commuter train line. Rescue-Engine Company 3 responds to all structure fires, fire alarms, motor vehicle accidents with entrapments, stalled elevator emergencies, and water rescues. It recently received its new Ferrara MVP rescue-pumper with an Igniter custom chassis and MVP cab with eight-inch raised roof, which is painted black over red on the cab and apparatus body. It is equipped with an extruded aluminum body with roll-up compartment doors that provide access to more than 600 cubic feet of compartment storage space.

The rig has reflective striping running along the lower side of the cab and running diagonally upward on the body’s first compartment then running horizontally across the remain compartment to the rear of the apparatus. Gold leaf lettering is featured on the upper section of the body stating, “Garfield Fire Rescue Engine.” Between the wording is a unique Maltese cross logo: a Boilermaker with G3 is in the center of it; the local school district logo is the Boilermakers. There are also company graphics in gold leaf on all the doors—the front doors have a company Maltese cross logo design on them, while the crew cab doors have the department’s name on them. The windows on the side of the crew cab, when rolled up, sport an American flag logo sticker on them. The front bumper sports the “Cross Town Express” slogan on it while in between the front windshield is a train logo customized to reflect the company’s logo. “Rescue 3 Engine” is also on the raised roof protective cover for the Will-Burt light tower.

The apparatus body features numerous roll-out shelves, trays, and tool boards. It has six upper body compartments, which are accessed by using the Zico safety access ladder mounted to the rear of the apparatus. The rig is equipped with a Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm midship pump, Hale ESP primer, TFT Hurricane deck gun, Hannay booster reel in the rear compartment, and a 750-gallon UPF Poly booster tank. Its electrical and warning light package includes Whelen Freedom IV light bars, Whelen LED warning and scene lights, a Harrison 10-kW hydraulic generator, and a Will-Burt light tower. The rig’s portable ladder storage has Ferrara’s Thru-the-Tank ladder and pike pole storage module with access through the rear compartment. The compartment also has storage areas for the company’s air bags and rescue extrication tools with a Hanny hydraulic hose reel. There are also four wheel well compartments, two on each side of the apparatus, that allow the engine to carry eight spare SCBA bottles. The extended front bumper also has an auto extrication tool setup in it.

Rescue Engine 3’s officer side pump panel and opposite side discharge outlets are enclosed by roll-down compartment doors. On the officer side above the outlets is a small storage area which has DeWalt cordless power tools attached to the wall panel. They include: a circular saw, reciprocal saw, drill, impact drill, and a flashlight all secured to the wall in brackets. On the shelf below the tools are some quick stabilizing cribbing and assorted fittings. Near the outlet discharges in the lower section of the compartment sits a pressurized water can and a hydrant and fittings bag. On the inside wall toward the crew cab there are hydrant and spanner wrenches mounted.

On the next compartment behind the pump outlets is a large storage compartment with two large vertical roll-out shelves. Looking at this compartment, starting from the rear of the apparatus and working forward, are stabilizing spikes for securing rescue jacks mounted to the compartment’s wall. On the first vertical pull-out facing the rear are Res-Q-Jacks, pads, and stabilizing spikes. On the opposite side of this pull-out, mounted and secured in brackets, are: two axes, a sledgehammer, a “D” handled pike pole (closet hook), and a duck billed lock breaker. The front vertical roll-out tray also has Res-Q-Jack pads and stabilizers mounted on the back-side wall. The opposite front side of this tray has two bolt cutters, a “D” handle round and flat shovel and a “D” handled windshield saw on it. In the space in front of this tray sit two Auto Crib-It stabilizing devices.

Garfield Rescue Engine 3 is very proud of its new apparatus and has deep pride in providing fire and rescue services to the community and surrounding jurisdictions. This new apparatus will assist them in providing these services for years to come.

MICHAEL N. CIAMPO is a 31-year veteran of the fire service and a lieutenant in the Fire Department of New York. Previously, he served with the District of Columbia Fire Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He is the author of “Compartment Corner” on He is the lead instructor for the FDIC International Truck Essentials H.O.T. program. He wrote the Ladder chapter and co-authored the Ventilation chapter for Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II (Fire Engineering, 2009) and is featured in “Training Minutes” truck company videos on