A Black Piermont firefighter died in the line of duty in 1854. A monument will finally honor him

A Rockland County firefighter who died in the line of duty before the start of the American Civil War was recognized with a monument dedication at Flywheel Park on Saturday.

News 12 Staff

Sep 17, 2022, 3:17 PM

Updated 618 days ago

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A Rockland County firefighter who died in the line of duty before the start of the American Civil War was recognized with a monument dedication at Flywheel Park on Saturday.
Thomas Pomplin was killed in 1854 during a fire in Nyack. His death was the first in line of duty in all of Rockland County. However, according to former Fire Chief Dan Goswick, Pomplin designation was never acknowledged because he was a Black man.
Local officials hope to correct this centuries-old wrong with a monument dedication in his honor.
"Today we are giving him that honor, which he did not get when he lived and when he died more than 150 years ago,” said state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick.
He believes it is important to finally commemorate the life and heroism of Pomplin.
“When he was born, slavery was still legal in New York state. When he died, it was still legal in most of the United States and in the South. Yet he was able to succeed and thrive as a member of surely one of the first integrated fire departments in New York, and probably one of the first in the country,” he said.


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