Kentucky Firefighters Hope to Restore Old Fire Truck

December 8, 2008

Bowling Green’s fire department is looking for volunteers to help restore a fire truck that’s been a mainstay in the city for more than seven decades.

The truck, a 1931 Pumper 2 Seagrave fire truck, was bought new by the south-central Kentucky city and has been kept at multiple fire stations over the years, said Deputy Chief Jerry Oliver. The truck was last used to fight a fire in the city in 1964. It has been driven only a few times since, mostly in parades.

Firefighter Todd Brannon is doing much of the work on the truck. Four layers of paint have been stripped, the wooden floorboards have been sanded to the original wood and the engine was cleaned and painted.

“It’s a pretty big project,” he said. “It’s come a long way pretty quickly.”

Firefighter Gary Preston is refinishing the wood for the truck, Brannon said.

Brannon said the department is looking for help on some projects, including reupholstering the seats.

“There are a lot of people who remember being on this truck as a kid,” Brannon told the Daily News in Bowling Green. “Hopefully, some of them will be willing to help.”

The department members are doing most of the repairs, but are asking for help with the expense of the chrome, which will cost about $6,000.

Once completed, the truck will be displayed in the lobby of the fire department’s new administration building, said Marlee Boenig, spokeswoman for the department.

The administrative building is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2009.

“People will be able to come into the building and see the truck,” Oliver said. “We’ll also take it out two or three times a year for parades or special events.”

The idea for using the truck as a showpiece in the new building came from one of the firefighters, who had seen something similar at another department.

“We had been talking for at least 25 years about fixing up this truck, and that sounded like a wonderful idea,” Oliver said.

Part of the allure is the historical value of the truck, Boenig said.

“This truck holds a lot of sentimental value to people who used to work and people who still work here,” she said.


Information from: Daily News,

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