Thomas Pomplin was 28 when he died from the effects of overheating and exhaustion from fighting the Storm’s Cedar Tub and Pail Factory fire in Nyack in July 1854. He died eight days later.
It is believed that he was the first line of duty death of a firefighter in Rockland County, but because he was black, that designation never happened.
Former Piermont fire chief and now lieutenant in charge of the dive team, Daniel Goswick, is hoping to change that. “Based on our research that we have compiled, I believe that Thomas Pomplin should be recognized as the first line of duty death in Rockland County, but because of his skin color back then, I am sure he was never recognized for his heroic acts,” Goswick said.