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NOV 2015
Posted Dec 23, 2015     Updated Jan 15, 2016


Update Jan 15, 2016

Two Thumbs Up!
After about 2 months without a fire engine in the West Falmouth Station #4,
the "new" Engine 24 was backed into the station and placed in service at about
1400 hours on Friday January 15, 2016.

The apparatus floor in the 1930 fire station was removed, lowered a few inches
to allow for some clearance for the "new" engine to get through the door, and
then a new floor poured and some work done to the apron out front.


A piece of 4" hose has been cut to fit along the bottom of the garage door until a new
door can be made to fit the slightly larger opened after the floor was lowered.
Jan 15, 2016

Upstairs at Station 4

In order to maintain a "presence" in West Falmouth, the department placed pickup truck
Car 27 at the station with the one firefighter assigned per shift to be able to respond to
calls in.  It had basic first aid and life support equipment but was not able to provide
any firefighting.


Just after lunch on Friday, January 15, 2016 the "new" Engine 24 pulled up in front
of its new home on Route 28A in West Falmouth.

Firefighters and a few West Falmouth residents were on hand to watch the engine
back into the station for the first time.

The "new" Engine 24 is a 1992 (24 year old) Sutphen 1500 gpm Pumper with a
500 gallon water tank.  It formerly belonged to the Southhold VFD on the eastern
end of northern Long Island, NY. The engine was one of several that were looked
at after the last two of Falmouth's 1987/1989 Ford C8000 Emergency One engines
has to be taken out of service in November 2015.




Falmouth Finds "new" Engine


When the last two of Falmouth's 1980's Ford C-8000 / Emergency One Pumpers
had to be put out of service in November, it left the department with only 4 engines
to cover it's 5 stations. Desperate times require desperate measures.

Falmouth went looking for a quick fix used engine to fill the need.
Since all the required equipment could not fit on the old Ahrens Fox
the department went online and after looking at a number of possible
candidates, they selected a used pumper from a volunteer fire department
on Long Island, NY.

After looking at the truck and negotiating a mutually acceptable price,
the used 1992 Sutphen 1500 gpm pumper was driven to the ferry and
back to Cape Cod where it is being prepared to go in service.


1992 Sutphen 1500 gpm / 500 gallon Pumper
Former Southhold VFD, LI, NY Engine 8-4-3

The "new" engine has been well taken care of, has low mileage, and is in
good condition.  In addition it fits (snuggly) into the little
West Falmouth fire station which has not had a fire truck
since the 1987 Engine 24 Ford / E-One was put out of service
in November 2015.

The role the "new" Sutphen serves and how it will be numbered is still
to be finalized but since it fits into the West Falmouth Station 4 it may
in fact become Engine 24. If that is the case, the present Engine 25
which is in worse shape could end up becoming the spare engine 20
once the new Pierce is delivered in the summer of 2016.

However it works out, the department found a jewel of a fire truck
in Southhold, Long Island which should serve Falmouth well
for a number of years.




Update Dec 23, 2015


Falmouth's 1927 Ahrens Fox Former Engine 2

Obviously the 1927 Ahrens Fox can not carry all the hose and equipment
a modern engine must carry.

When Falmouth had to put two of its oldest pumpers out of service
due to mechanical and safety reasons in November 2015 it put the
department into an unexpected emergency situation.

Falmouth has 5 fire stations and had 6 engines (5 active and 1 spare)
until two went out of service leaving just 4 engines for 5 stations.
The town began looking for a quick fix purchase of a used fire
engine to fit the immediate need.

A 1992 Sutphen 1500 gpm / 500 gallon pumper from Southhold,
Long Island, NY was looked at and after some negotiating Falmouth
decided the truck could do the job on Cape Cod. 

It is currently being prepared for service.
The big plus is the fact that this engine will fit into the
little West Falmouth Station 4, a challenge that had some
very limited options.

The final plan for how and where various apparatus
is numbered and assigned is still to be finalized, but
since the "new" Sutphen can fit into Station 4 it could
become Engine 24 assigned there.

The only other department engine that could fit in any
Falmouth station would be the 1995 International / E-One
presently Engine 25 in East Falmouth. This engine is not
in as good condition as the "new" Sutphen leaving it to
potentially become the spare once the new Pierce engine
is delivered in the summer of 2016.



1992 Sutphen
1500 gpm / 500 Gallons
Dec 2015




Falmouth Fords Out of Service

West Falmouth Engine 24
The 1987 Ford C-8000 / Emergency One 1000/500 Pumper
was taken out of service in November 2015 leaving West Falmouth
without a fire engine.


Falmouth Spare Engine 20
The 1989 Ford C-8000 / E-One 1000/500 Spare Pumper
was also taken out of service in November 2015 leaving the
department without a spare engine.









Falmouth Falling Apart?
Vital Apparatus Out of Service.
Initial Post Nov 15, 2015



2 Pumpers (Engine 20 & 24) and 2 brush trucks (Breaker 16 and 17) have all been (unexpectedly) removed from service in November 2015.

With NO spare apparatus available, West Falmouth has no fire truck.

The Falmouth Fire Department protects a year round population of over 31,000,
(much larger in season) within 44.5 square miles.  In 2014 the Falmouth Fire Rescue responded to 6,674 emergency calls (over 18/day average) making it the BUSIEST of the Cape's departments.

The department minimally staffs and operates from 5 fire stations:
#1 Falmouth Center - Engine 21, Ladder 26, Amb 37, Car 28 with 7 personnel
#2 Woods Hole - Engine 22, Amb 38 with 2 personnel
#3 North Falmouth - Engine 23, Amb 35 with 2 personnel
#4 West Falmouth - Engine 24 with 1 personnel
#5 East Falmouth - Engine 25, Breaker 18, Amb 36 with 2 personnel

The department has a number of other apparatus not listen here.
Personnel listed are "normal" in station shift staffing levels. Off duty personnel are often recalled to provide basic coverage during calls.

A recent inspection of fire apparatus concluded that several pieces of vital apparatus are no longer safe or road worthy and have been taken out of service leaving the department facing some serious coverage challenges.

Engine 24, the 28 year old 1987 Ford/E-One pumper at West Falmouth has been taken out of service permanently due to serious mechanical problems in early November 2015.

Engine 20, the 26 year old 1989 Ford/E-One spare pumper has also been taken out of service for similar mechanical issues in Nov 2015.

Breaker 16, the 35 year old 1980 Ford/Farrar 750 gallon Brush Breaker assigned to Station #1 has also been removed from service due to serious mechanical issues in Nov 2015.

Breaker 17, the 38 year old 1977 Dodge Power Wagon / Continental
350 gallon brush breaker at Station #2 has also been taken out of service.

Breaker 15, a 43 year old 1971 International/Thibault 800 gallon Brush Breaker was taken out of service in 2014.

The department already has a new Pierce engine on order to replace Engine 24,  but it is still about 8 months away and the new engine WILL NOT FIT into the
1930's single bay West Falmouth Station 4, so the plan has been to reassign the
20 year old 1995 International/E-One pumper of Engine 25 (East Falmouth)
to West Falmouth when the new engine arrives. This is the only other Falmouth engine that can fit into that station (with some modifications).

Attempts to get town support for a new West Falmouth station failed years ago leaving that significant area of town now without local fire protection. Engine 24 also routinely backs up downtown and North Falmouth and other parts of town on calls.

When Engine 24 went out of service, just as when any other engine goes out of service for routine or emergency maintenance, Falmouth usually moves their spare Engine 20, a 26 year old 1989 Ford/E-One (same design as Engine 24) to replace it until repairs are done.  Unfortunately, on inspection, it was also determined that Engine 20 was no longer road worthy and it too has been permanently taken out of service.

The backup plan to having no engines available, would be to at least place a fire truck with some water and a pump in a station to cover.  Falmouth has used brush trucks for this duty from time to time in the past.


When both Engine s 24 and 20 went out of service, the backup plan to move a brush truck into West Falmouth (only 2 would fit) fell apart when both Breaker 16 and Breaker 17 also failed inspections and were removed from service. The only other brush truck Breaker 18 (2010 International) is too tall to fit in the station.

So now, West Falmouth Station #4 is being covered with a pick-up truck and 1 fire fighter.

It is uncertain at this time what Falmouth will do relative to replacing their spare engine or 2 brush trucks. 



West Falmouth Station #4 and Engine 24.
Engine 24 taken out of service and Station #4 has no fire truck.

Engine 24 was typically staffed with just 1 fire fighter


Engine 20 the Spare pumper frequently worked while covering
for other apparatus. It has been taken out of service.

Spare Engine 20 was already a "hand me down" several times

Breaker 17, 1977 Dodge Power Wagon taken out of service.

Breaker 16, 1980 Ford has been taken out of service.

Breaker 15, a 1971 International was taken out of service in 2014.