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 inch discharge’s.

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 County.

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.

Copyright 1997-2012 Carlstadt Fire Department. All Rights Reserved.

Design & Maintenance by FF. Shawn P. Cosgrove