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Harrison Fire Dept's Company Engine 4 Featured on National Fire Radio

Mar 02, 2024
Harrison NJ Fire Dept. Engine 4

In the heart of Harrison, New Jersey, the Harrison Fire Department, led by Chief Henry Richard, was featured by National Fire Radio in a video (see below). Jeremy Donch of the National Fire Radio organization recently spotlighted the department for its forward-thinking Fire Committee, composed of Harrison Fire Department members. This committee was instrumental in the design of Engine Company 4's fire truck, a testament to the department's commitment to serving its diverse and densely populated community with unparalleled efficiency and foresight.

The department's latest acquisition, a 2023 Pierce Enforcer with a 60-inch chassis and a 10-inch raised roof, marks its third purchase from Pierce. Notably, the department also boasts a Pierce Arrow Tiller 107-foot ladder truck, emphasizing the strong relationship and trust between Harrison Fire Department and the renowned manufacturer. The department also has a shorter version of the truck made by Pierce-Arrow serving Engine Company 2. The design of Engine Company 4's fire truck reflects a deep understanding of Harrison's unique needs, considering the town's varied building constructions and the challenges posed by narrow streets and limited parking as well as the necessity to put out smaller fires in the quickest time to avoid the fire spreading.

 Video of Harrison Fire Dept. Engine 4

Firefighter Joe Schroek, along with the truck committee, shared insights into the meticulous thought process behind the truck's design. From the chassis considerations for crew comfort and efficiency in emergency medical response to the strategic placement of hose lines and pump panels for quick and effective firefighting, every detail was scrutinized. The truck's versatility is further underscored by its two-stage pump and 750-gallon water capacity, ensuring readiness for both high-rise apartment fires and more localized residential incidents.

Captain Steve Spera highlighted the engine's compartmentation, emphasizing an organized "place for everything" approach to ensure quick access to essential tools and equipment. This approach not only streamlines operations but also supports the department's mutual aid responsibilities, showcasing a level of preparedness and adaptability that is crucial for modern firefighting.

Harrison Fire Department Engine No. 4

The engine's design, from its rescue-style body to its advanced hose loads, demonstrates an acute awareness of the department's operational environment. The inclusion of a booster line for quick responses to minor fires and a well-thought-out decontamination process for on-site showers for cancer prevention are examples of the department's commitment to firefighter safety and health.

The Harrison Fire Department's Engine Company 4 is more than just a fire truck; it's a symbol of the department's dedication to innovation, efficiency, and community service. As featured in the National Fire Radio's special 2024 calendar project with Fire and Safety Services, Engine Company 4 stands as a proud representation of what it means to adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of firefighting but keeping some tried and true equipment that other departments have moved away from.  When questioned those being interviewed could state why hose were slightly smaller than other departments. Through meticulous design, strategic planning, and a deep commitment to their community, the Harrison Fire Department continues to set a benchmark for excellence in the firefighting community.

Harrison Fire Department Pierce-Arrow 107 ft. Tiller Ladder Truck

Two individuals who were not mentioned in the video were Harold Stahl, the Director of Public Safety and a former Chief in the Rahway Fire Department who is a long-time Harrison resident and who upon retirement was recruited by then-Mayor Raymond J. McDonough who wanted him to lead the department upon the retirement of then Chief Thomas Dolaghan.

Current Harrison Fire Chief, Henry Richard mentioned in the video Harrison’s Pierce-Arrow Tiller 107 feet Ladder truck which was purchased by the Town of Harrison through the efforts of then Fire Chairman and then-Councilman Anselmo Millan and Harold Stahl. 

The Harrison Fire Department has come a long way from the time when Mayor James Fife under pressure from the  Department of Community Affairs wanted the Harrison Fire Department to be disbanded and taken over by the City of Newark Fire Department. Councilman Millan prevented the passage of a resolution moved by Mayor Fife for the takeover. Ultimately, the resolution was never passed and the Harrison Fire Department and its firefighters survived to see the Department flourish with additional funding from monies generated by PILOTs as envisioned by the late Mayor Raymond J. McDonough and Councilman Millan.

Articles Of Interest:

Harrison Fire Department A Long Way From Newark Takeover

Twenty-Six Years: Mayor McDonough's Redevelopment Vision Realized

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