By Michael N. Ciampo
The Town and Village of Goshen, the county seat of Orange County lies just over 50 miles northwest of the New York, New York, in the picturesque Hudson Valley. The town is the birthplace of the Trotter, and the historic horse racetrack and Victorian grandstand still sits in the center of town. A fire recently ravaged the blacksmith shop and some of the stables, but efforts to rebuild it are in full force. The downtown area is very historic with old structures and one that served as a hospital during the revolutionary war. In 1843, after two serious fires virtually destroyed “Lawyers Row,” the trustees of the newly incorporated village authorized the creation of a fire company.
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A month after creation, $450 was spent on a used hand-pulled and pumped apparatus, it survived a dozen years of service until it broke down and was put out of service. In 1855, another new hand-pumped-and-pulled rig was delivered and called the Cataract by the manufacturer. Webster’s dictionary defines that as a large waterfall, and with that and the impressive new apparatus, the company took that as its new name and became The Cataract Engine Company. Today the Cataracts are one of three companies that comprise the Goshen Fire Department—the other two are the Minisink Hook and Ladder and the Dikeman Engine and Hose Company—all strategically placed in the Goshen Fire District. Goshen and the surrounding area have become another suburb of the city, yet still is home to farms and the Black Dirt region (famous for onion and other crop production). Currently, the town is awaiting the opening of Legoland New York amusement park, which will add more visitors into the town.
Engine 931 is a 2019 Pierce Enforcer tilt-cab aluminum pumper with side roll and frontal impact protection. The cab has a raised roof and seating for six firefighters inside. It is painted in a black and red color scheme, with the roof being red and the top section black and lower section of the cab red, while the rear body is all red. There are three reflective stripes, a large black and two thin gold stripes, which run on the underside of the cab and then run along the body of the pumper’s compartment doors. The Enforcer is powered by a Detroit DD13 engine with 470 horsepower. It has Pierce’s TAK-4 independent front suspension and Command Zone electrical system. The rig has a 1,000-gallon water tank with a Husky 3 foam system with 20-gallon cell. The pump on Engine 931 is a Waterous midship 1,750-gpm pump with a low pump panel, making pumping operations easy to control and monitor. The extended steel front bumper has an intake and discharge mounted on it and the Federal Q2B siren is recessed in the middle, while two Grover air horns are on each side of the siren. Above the pump panel on the upper deck is an Akron Monitor with four stacked tips; the fog nozzle is stored inside the chauffeur’s compartment next to the pump panel. This compartment has a reversed hinged door for easy retrieval of fittings, nozzles, or appliances. Also mounted above the pump panel are two crosslay trays capable of storing 300 feet of 1¾-inch hose. There are easy tear-away straps made out of tubular webbing, which when pulled downward allow quick access to the hoselines.
For driver safety, the unit is equipped with Pierce side view cameras on both sides of the apparatus. They are mounted just behind the front crew cab doors and allow the driver to view the rear axle and side of the vehicle for maneuvering through tight areas or while making turns. There are also remote control and heated Retrac mirrors with a convex section that help while responding during freezing temperatures and snow storms. There is also a convex crossover mirror mounted above the officer’s window to allow the driver to view the front of the cab and bumper when making a turn. To also assist responses, the vehicle is equipped with numerous Whelen emergency lighting, and it has six Whelen Pioneer LED scene lights. Two are mounted on the vehicle’s front brow while the sides of the apparatus both have two, one recessed into the upper portion of the crew cab and the other at the tail end of the upper body of the apparatus. Two Ziamatic folding wheel chocks are positioned on the underside of the body on each side of the rear axle on the driver’s side for ease of deployment when parking the apparatus. The rear of the engine has a short back step, and the ends are cut diagonally to assist in pulling out of tight firehouses while relocated or for narrow turning areas. To keep the rig charged and ready to go, there is a Kussmaul shoreline and air line with auto-eject mounted on the cab just over the driver’s front wheel well.
Because of the need to draft often, the engine is equipped with three 6-inch by 10-foot suctions; two are mounted on the driver’s side while the other is mounted above the portable ladders. The ladder rack is a little unique. The rig carries Duo-Safety ladders with a 14-foot roof ladder mounted behind a 24-foot extension ladder. In an enclosed square tub behind these ladders sits a 10-foot scissor ladder, well protected from the elements and easy to slide in and out of the tubing. Below the scissor ladder there are two circular tubes holding Fire Hooks Unlimited New York roof hooks—a 6-foot and 8-foot steel handle with pry bar ends. Since the department covers many of the county government buildings and the jail, the engine is equipped with outside storage of their standpipe folded hose on the officer’s side just below the ladder complement. The hose is easily retrieved and sits in an aluminum trough and secured with seat-belt-style strapping. Over the wheel wells, there is storage for the driver’s SCBA and spare SCBA bottles.
The rear compartment is the only roll-up door compartment on the engine. It has a roll-out slide tray that contains hydrant hook-up connections and drafting suction supplies. The main equipment is on the tray, while the secondary equipment is mounted on the rear wall of the compartment. Often, the department will operate with a tanker shuttle and have two portable tanks set up while drafting. The rear compartment stands out because its roll-up door doesn’t match the safety chevron, and large 931 numbers adorn it. The right rear compartment also has a roll-out tray in it, which carries a portable Honda generator, a Stihl chainsaw, saw equipment bag, and two fuel cans carrying straight gas and a gas/oil mixture for 2-cycle tools.
The Goshen Fire District has accepted numerous Pierce apparatus over the last few years and has been very happy with their overall performance.
MICHAEL N. CIAMPO is a 35-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 lead instructor for the FDIC International Truck Essentials H.O.T. program. He wrote the Ladders and Ventilation chapters for Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II (Fire Engineering, 2009) and the Bread and Butter Portable Ladders DVD and is featured in “Training Minutes” truck company videos on www.FireEngineering.com and writes the back page column ON FIRE in Fire Engineering.