Model T Fire Truck Replaced a Horse-Drawn Carriage a Century Ago

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Back in the day, when a fire was blazing through a building, the luxury of a fire truck blaring its lights and sirens to speed to the scene did not exist. Before cars became a thing, there were horse-drawn carriages, and that included “fire trucks.” Such was the case for Girardville’s Rangers Hose Company … until it bought its first machine-powered vehicle, a Ford Model T back in 1914. The purchase came only three years after the Hose Company was created, and the car was delivered in 1916 for service

“The Model T replaced our first fire truck, which was a horse-drawn hose cart bought from the West End Fire Station 7 in Pottsville,” Rangers firefighter Michael Zangari said. “When the fire company had the hose cart, the company opted to purchase the Model T, which was state of the art.”

State of the art didn’t exactly mean what it means today, though.

“It’s called a chemical truck and was the precursor to foam,” Zangari said. “There are two tanks on the back. The Model T was in service from 1916 to 1927. In 1927, the company purchased a Dodge fire engine. The chemical they used was very similar to a dry chemical fire extinguisher.”

This past weekend, as a mark of 100 years since the Model T was delivered, the car, which still runs, participated in an educational celebration that includes a parade. It’s in great shape after being refurbished twice during the years, but the last time it had run was back in 2004. If Ford is smart, it’ll look at this thing as a fantastic museum piece some day.


via [Republican Herald]

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