The Wallkill Engine and Hose Company – Organized 1860 – Incorporated 1913
Steve Hodge Jr.1st Lieutenant
Christopher Gironda2nd Lieutenant
Kathleen HowellVice President
Active Member Roll
Steve Hodge Sr.
Steve Hodge Jr.
Joe Prior Sr.
The Engine Company’s main goal at a fire is to stretch line and put the fire out, and this is exactly what the Wallkills do best. The Wallkills stretch hose into some of the most unforgiving environments anyone could imagine, with temperatures in house fires nearing 1,100 degrees, just to protect a complete stranger and their belongings.
Engine 219 is the primary apparatus for the Wallkill Engine and Hose Company. Engine 219 is a 2013 Ferrara Rescue / Pumper with a 2,000 GPM pump, 60 gallon foam tank, and a 1,000 gallon water tank. E-219 is utilized for any structure related calls in the Village within the hydranted areas and vehicle fires. E-219 responds second-due to all motor vehicle accidents and it is the second-due engine to all structure related calls in the Town’s unhydranted areas.
The Wallkill Engine and Hose Company holds their monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm at the fire station.
To contact the Wallkill Engine and Hose Company by mail;
P.O. Box 29
Montgomery, NY 12549
To view the Wallkill Engine and Hose Company’s Constitution and By-Laws, Click here.
A Brief History of the Wallkill Engine and Hose Company
The Wallkill Engine and Hose Company was organized on November 3, 1860, making the year 2010 the 150th year in existence for the company. The Wallkills were later incorporated on September 2, 1913. The first Wallkill apparatus was purchased in 1860 and it was a horse-drawn, hand pumped, Button and Blake engine which was purchased from Watertown, NY. On April 4th, 1895, the Village of Montgomery voted to construct and maintain a better system of waterworks for the task of fighting fires. A large cistern was build in the center of the village and filled with water in October of that year. This cistern made the Wallkill’s job much easier, since a source of water was always guaranteed in the village now. In 1902, a hose carriage was purchased from Roanoke, Virginia by the village for the Wallkill Engine and Hose company as a tool to transport their many lengths of hose to fires around the village.
In March of 1913, the most devastating fire in Montgomery’s history hit at 4am. The fire began in a barn in the center of the village and quickly spread to surrounding buildings including the academy and the fire station. The station was destroyed in this blaze, but the Montgomery firefighters were able to rescue most of their firefighting equipment including the Wallkill’s Button and Blake Engine which was slightly scorched. The station was rebuilt just up the street from the site of the burned out one in 1914 at a sum of around $9,000.
The year 1921 brought about the purchase of the first motorized vehicle for the Wallkills. They acquired a 1920 Mack pumper to replace their hand pumped, horse-drawn engine. In 1926, standardized fire hose and hydrants and universal threads regulations came into being, making the engine company’s job much easier and allowing for interchanging of equipment. The next Wallkill apparatus replacement occurred in 1948 with the purchase of an American LaFrance pumper for $14,000.
The 1960’s brought even more changes to the company, first a tanker truck was bought for the department to allow more water to be brought to fire scenes in non-hydranted areas for the Wallkills to pump from. The Wallkills also replaced their 1948 American LaFrance pumper with a newer 1960 American LaFrance pumper.
The next major changes in the company would not come until closer to present day, beginning with the erection of the current fire station in January of 1983 and the purchasing of a 1997 Central States pumper. Currently, the Wallkill Engine and Hose Company operates a 2013 Ferrara provided by the Fire District.
Tragedy struck the Wallkill Engine and Hose Co. and the Montgomery Fire Department on January 10th, 2015. That morning, MFD was dispatched under mutual aid for one engine to stand-by at the Cronomery Valley Fire Department while they operated at a multi-alarm fire in Clintondale. As Engine 219 was pulling out, Firefighter Charles V. Wallace (of the Wallkill Engine and Hose Co.) stepped into the road to stop traffic for the engine company. A vehicle that was traveling eastbound did not see Firefighter Wallace and struck him. E-219’s crew immediately jumped into action (the crew witnessed the entire incident) as the alarm was sounded for the car vs. pedestrian infront of the fire station. Members worked feverously to save the life of one of their own. A medical helicopter was called and landed on the rear pad of the fire station as members transported Firefighter Wallace to the landing zone in their own vehicle. Firefighter Wallace was flown to Westchester Medical Center where he underwent multiple surgeries and was placed in a medically induced coma. As Firefighter wallace exited his coma, he was approved to be tranferred to Helen Hayes Hospital for rehab on February 3rd, 2015. During this transport, Firefighter Wallace developed difficulty breathing and passed away before he could reach the hospital. LODD servies for Firefighter Wallace were held on February 7th, 2015. At the time of is death, Charles had been a 42 year member of the department, Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners and had been awarded many awards such as Firefighter of the Year, MFD Live-Saver’s Award, and the Commissioners Award for Excellence.
The company, as it exists today, is still going strong with 20-30 active members . Even though talks of a company merger with the Fleet Hook and Ladder Company to consolidate into just the Montgomery Fire Department are proceeding, the Wallkill Engine and Hose Company’s legacy and rich history will live on and will surely be preserved for the future generations of Montgomery’s firefighters to see.
To view an expanded and more in depth history of the Wallkill Engine and Hose Company, Click Here.