04/10/09 165 W, 1 I - + 9 - 15 Auxiliary Truck

For your Friday enjoyment, here's a nice picture of Raleigh's second mini pumper. The first one, a Dodge half-ton truck, operated from around 1944 until destroyed in an accident in 1947. Below is its replacement, a 1948 Ford F3 "auxiliary truck" or "squad truck." It was equipped with a booster pump, booster reel, and water tank. It also had a ladder, a coil of rope (or is that an extension cord?), a spotlight, and presumably a power source. Wonder what else it carried? The truck was assigned two personnel, and responded to small fires. It was also dispatched to all structure fires, and, for a period, may have been the lone unit dispatched to fires of all sizes in the county. It was housed at stations 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 over the years. The squad was still in service into the 1970s. This posed photo was scanned from an annual report of the city, hence the reduced quality. Click once or twice to enlarge:

What’s the origin of this truck’s predecessor? Perhaps it was due to wartime staffing reductions, thus allowing the response of a “reduced staffing unit.” Or perhaps it was originally conceived for the city’s auxiliary firefighters, the citizen fire companies that were organized and trained for assisting in the event of enemy attack. Or maybe they got the idea from the Durham, which operated a similar-style unit, model year 1942 (right year?). Still researching this.
Legeros - 04/10/09 - 07:08

I wouldn’t know what the rationale was back in the 40s ([probably the non-availability of personnel due to wartime conditions) but I remember the rationale of the 70s- $$$$$.

According to statistical data available back then, it seemed that the vast majority of all fires were extinguished with less that 200-250 gallons of water and at low flows. Hence the idea that a department could send one of these little trucks out, with a crew of two, and save money for personnel (only need a driver for the engine) and wear and tear on the big trucks (all of the major aparatus builders around that time were putting out some pretty non-durable apparatus).

There were departments in this area that, since they could not afford a true mini-pumper, thought they could substitute a brush truck for a mini-pumper. I know of four departments within the local area that responded brush trucks out as a first in unit on everything.

And during the 70s and 80s (and into the 90s), there were lots of foundations and chmineys standing around.

Fire Chief magazine had several articles published by the late Chief Donald Loeb on mini pumpers. Probably the most successful program was in Syracuse (NY). They paired their mini-pumpers (IHC chassis, 300 gallons of water, 475 gpm pump I think) with a mxi-pumper (standard pumper with lots of handlines and a 55’ TELESQURT). As I recall there were three personnel assigned to the mxi and two to the mini. The Syracuse set up was also covered in a two-parrt article by Chief Loeb.

I don’t think that true mini-pumpers caught on around here. I know that Six Forks had one, New Hope had one, Township Six had one, and Emerald Isle had one.
DJ - 04/10/09 - 09:34

That’d be one sweet ride to have today in your toy garage.
Olson - 04/15/09 - 22:59

Remember personal info?

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