01/30/11 160 W, 1 I - + 3 - 2 Ward LaFrance Command Towers?


Over on the Carolinas Fire Page Yahoo group, we've taken notice of this picture of a Houston Fire Department command tower in action at the Englewood Railroad Yard explosion on September 21, 1974. The photo was taken by Chuck Buschardt and scanned to disk and archived by Ken Paradowski. They were posted to firepics.net and re-posted in the above railroad forums posting in 2008.

The command tower was a product of Ward LaFrance and first introduced at the IAFC convention in Louisville in 1968, notes my Ward LaFrance Fire Trucks 19176-1978 Photo Archive book by John J. Burzichelli and Richard J. Gergel. The elevating platform could be mounted on any custom or commercial chassis, had a height of 22 feet, and a pre-piped master stream with a 1,000 GPM nozzle.

How many departments in North Carolina operated these? The town of Boone had one, as did Idlewild Fire Department in Mecklenburg County. Who else? And who has pictures??


Chuck Buschardt photo





The Idlewild and Boone command towers are the only ones I’m aware of. Not sure where Idlewild’s truck ended up, but the Boone truck has served several departments. It later served Deep Gap (east of Boone), then served Colletsville in Caldwell County for a brief time. It can currently be found at a motocross track in Gaffney,SC right off I-85.
BFD1151 - 01/30/11 - 12:46



  
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