1865 James P. Smith Handpumper
The Carlstadt Fire Department is the proud
owner of an 1865 James P. Smith Handpumper. The Handpumper was custom designed
and built for Edmonds Hose Company Number One, of the Hudson New York Fire
Department. The Handpumper is of "piano box" style and has two 2 1/2
The Carlstadt Fire Department purchased the
Handpumper in the year 1881 for $350.00. In addition to serving the Borough of
Carlstadt, our Handpumper also responded to many other towns in South Bergen
The Handpumper was "retired" from
service in the early 1900’s. An "overhaul" was completed in the
1920’s. For many years after its retirement from service, the pumper was
stored in a garage owned by Bill Pforte, a member of the Carlstadt Fire
Department. Bill kept good care of our unit, applying coats of polyurethane to
the wood, and keeping it covered with a tarpaulin.
In 1978 a committee of firefighters was formed
to perform a complete restoration on the Handpumper. Starting in the spring of
1980, our Handpumper was completely dissembled and the restoration process
begun. Over the course of the next 12 years the committee went to painstaking
lengths to repair the unit to the most intricate detail. Restoration was
completed in 1992.
For his years of dedication to our Handpumper,
and because it takes forty people to properly use the engine, the Committee
has named our unit, "THE FIGHTING PFORTE".
To date, our most famous parade pull occurred
on July 11, 1992, in Hudson, New York at the New York State Firemen’s Home
Centennial Parade. The "FIGHTING PFORTE" was drawn through the same
streets it protected back in 1865. After the celebration, members of the
Carlstadt Fire Department took the ‘FIGHTING PFORTE" to the Edmonds
Hose Co. 1 Firehouse and pushed it back into it’s original bay symbolizing a
return from an alarm.
© 1997-2012 Carlstadt Fire Department. All Rights Reserved.
Design & Maintenance by FF. Shawn P. Cosgrove