As we indicated in part one of this article in the last newsletter, we will now feature the real experts in apparatus renovation. The Washington Volunteer Fire Company has a long and rich history which has been reinforced by years of work by a number of their members collecting and restoring much of their apparatus from the past.
I believe the passion for their restoration efforts stem from the “built in” German ancestry in the community and the fire department tradition of excellence over the last couple of centuries.
I asked my friend Chief Tim Frankenberg to give us a little rundown of each of these restoration efforts and his comments have included within this article. A special thank you goes out to him and all of the WFD folks who devoted their time and effort to providing the community with this apparatus history.
THE FIRST OF MANY APPARATUS RENOVATIONS
The Washington Blaze Chasers led the investigation of what happened to the first WFD truck, the 1917 Model T. It was located in the mid 1980’s in a junk yard just blocks from the present headquarters. The truck was known to be sold to the Stumpe’s and they confirmed it was in their salvage yard. The truck was unique in that it was a Model T car with a Smith Form-A-Truck modification. The Smith Form-A-Truck added a frame extension and replaced the existing rear wheel with a large sprocket and a new axle was installed on the extended frame with a chain drive. The truck had very little left and was built from the ground up.