11/23/08 61 W, 1 I - + 15 - 10 Magazine Ad

Here's a vintage magazine ad, found on eBay. It's from The American City, April 1945. The Ford fire truck shown served the Durham Fire Department until the 1950s. It became the Garner Fire Department's first fire truck in 1952. Some 20 years later, it was sold to the Harrells Fire Department in Sampson County. They still have same. Click to enlarge:

Raleigh had a pair of similar trucks, a 1944 Dodge that was wrecked, and a 1948 Ford that served into the 1960s. See http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/a.. for info on both. The unit may have originated as an answer to resource challenges during World War II. Still researching that.
Legeros - 11/24/08 - 08:30

I am sure there were some ‘genuine’ concerns, specially with the manpower shortages during and immediately after WW II. Yet the cynic in me suspects ‘economy’ motives, like the mini-pumpers of the 70s (crew of two and a small unit that can handle the vast majority of calls) and the quints of today (trying to do too much with one vehicle). Trying to do more with less…much less.
DJ (Email) - 11/24/08 - 11:55

As I understand that period, fire apparatus was hard to get. Thus the reason Raleigh bought a 1919 pumper from Farmville in 1942, and ahead of opening Station 6 the following year. I am still learning about that period, however, so I don’t have a full appreciation yet of municipal circumstances during the war.
Legeros - 11/24/08 - 18:10

When US factories retooled to build trucks,tanks, air craft and ships for World War II, alot of civilian needs were idled, and/or back logged. Towns and cities had pre-war equipment dating back into the late 1920’s and 1930’s. The recovery wasn’t until the late 40’s to early 50’s. I have often wondered if that is why Raleigh didn’t (or wasn’t able)to purchase a new engine company between 1936 and 1949. Good question for Mike to research in his spare time.
Jon C (Email) - 11/24/08 - 23:29

One think that I think you have to consider, although the unavailablity of fire apparatus due to increased demand could certainly have been a factor, in the ‘old days’ fire apparatus was expected to last longer. Think about it, the RFD kept the 700 series pumpers inservice until the late 70s (20+ years). The 1950 Mack was inservice for many, many years as well (20+). And look to surrounding FDs. Typically, 20-25+ years was the minimum expectation for service, either commercial or custom. Garner kept the 1957 Chevy/LaFrance inservice until at least 1976 (19). The 1962 Chevy/LaFrance at Yrac was inservice as a first-out unit until AFTER 1985 (23+). I think many of the new trucks purchased by RFD in the very early days were for expansion rather than for replacement since Raleigh was starting to grow. I may be wrong, Mike can clarify.

And then, how often were the ‘safety standards’ updated prior to the 1980s? Very rarely, so there was no real ‘need’ to replace trucks as along as they ran and pumped. Also, there were no grants available for fire truck purchases, nor were there low-interest loan programs (like the Farmers’ Home Administration) availalbe for buying fire trucks.

I remember hearing my parents talking about those days right after WWII in that at first there was no money availalbe, and there was a delay in getting everything converted back from war production to normal production. Example, while ALF did make some fire trucks during the war, they also made components for the P-39 Airacobra fighter.

While all of these probably had some affect on things, I still say part of it (and probably a larger part) would have been the ‘economy’ of sending smaller trucks with smaller crews. After all, we had already demonstrated that we could function with less during the war.
DJ (Email) - 11/25/08 - 20:34

Update to this posting from 2008.

This has appeared again for sale on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/1945-Ford-Truck-Ad-F..

Someone asked on another thread about war time restrictions, which is referenced above.

Couple interesting things in the ad text: “Under government allocation, present production of Ford Trucks is necessarily limited as to types, equipment and quantities, for essential civilian needs. See your near-by Ford Truck dealer for friendly counsel in obtaining official certification of your requirements.”

Also, it appears Durham operated TWO such trucks: “On December 19, 1941, the City of Durham equipped two Ford Trucks for fire service, augmenting the city’s other equipment. These trucks have been used extensively and have given excellent results at a very low operating cost. The truck pictured has answered a total of 1,107 [?] calls, of which ??? were answered by this truck alone.”
Legeros - 05/09/10 - 22:04

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