Posts Tagged Peter Pirsch & Sons

Vintage fire scene from Villa Park

This from Brian Murphy:

These photos are of a single-family house fire on the west side of Villa Park, taken during a very cold and snowy winter afternoon in the early- to mid-1990′s. At the time the pictures were taken, units from Villa Park (including call-backs), Elmhurst, Lombard, and Addison were either on-scene or en route. Unsure if it was a General Alarm or a First-Level MABAS Box.
All photos were taken using a 35mm pocket camera- no digital or smartphones back then!  Hope you enjoy the brief trip down memory lane!
I will send more as time permits!
Best Regards,
Brian Murphy
winter fire scene circa 1990

Line off of the rear of first-due engine from Villa Park Northside fire station. Brian Murphy photo

winter fire scene circa 1990

Fire venting through the roof; in foreground is Villa Park Engine 4 (reserve rig). Brian Murphy photo

winter fire scene circa 1990

Note smoke hanging low to ground- very cold day! Also note 2 1/2″ supply line from hydrant down the block at corner. Brian Murphy photo

winter fire scene circa 1990

Lots of cold smoke. Villa Park Engine 5 in background- late 60′s or early 70′s Pirsch. Brian Murphy photo

vintage custom Pirsch fire engine

Villa Park Engine 4- late 60′s or early 70′s Pirsch, similar to Engine 5. Brian Murphy photo

vintage custom Pirsch fire engine

Engine 4- officer’s side. Brian Murphy photo

Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder

Elmhurst Truck 1- 1977 Mack/Pirsch 100′ aerial ladder. Refurbished late 80′s or early 90′s by RPI . Brian Murphy photo

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Down memory lane …

This from Steve Redick:

I was doing some scanning from the “wayback” files and found a few you might like to see…

The first was a huge pile of RR ties in Bensenville that burned for hours and hours..early 80s. Got some rig shots including the old Bensenville International Squad rig..I remember at this fire the oxygen levels near it got low and one fireman started acting very erratically til they got him into better atmosphere..very strange but no one thought of using masks at an outside fire back then.

I got a lot of interest in the Elk Grove tiller shot too…..

Found a coupla shots of some Mt Prospect rigs, and the Wood Dale truck

Also a fire in a trailer in Morton Grove at the old OCC site (Oakton Community College)

All these should be from the early 80s and shot on Kodacolor negative film…

Steve

Bensenville Fire Department history

Bensenville engine. Steve Redick photo

Railroad ties on fire in the 1980s.

Railroad ties on fire in the 1980s. Steve Redick photo

Wood Dale Fire Department history

Wood Dale Pirsch ladder truck. Steve Redick photo

Railroad ties on fire in the 1980s.

Railroad ties on fire in the 1980s. Steve Redick photo

Bensenville squad. Steve Redick photo

Bensenville squad. Steve Redick photo

Elmhurst Fire Department history

Elmhurst Mack CF engine. Steve Redick photo

Elmhurst Fire Department history

Another shot of the Elmhurst engine. Steve Redick photo

Leyden Township FPD history

Leyden Township Hendrickson/FMC engine. Steve Redick photo

Elk Grove Village Fire Department history

Elk Grove Village Pirsch TDA. Steve Redick photo

Mount Prospect Fire Department history

Mount Prospect American LaFrance engine. Steve Redick photo

Mount Prospect Fire Department history

Mount Prospect American LaFrance engine. Steve Redick photo

Mount Prospect Fire Department history

Mount Prospect squad 543. Steve Redick photo

Morton Grove Fire Department history

Morton Grove engine with burned out trailer. Steve Redick photo

 

 

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CFD Apparatus History – trucks with boosters

Some additional information about the aerials purchased by the Chicago Fire Department in the late 60s and early 70s . Some have inquired about the fact that several aerials were delivered with booster reels and 300-gallon water tanks. There were several types of aerials purchased by the CFD during this time frame.

These included:

  • (3) 1968 Mack CF/Pirsch 100-foot aerials (with a red cab face) (300-gallon tanks)
  • (1) 1968 Seagrave aerial with an FWD chassis featuring rear steering for Truck 63 at O’Hare Airport
  • (8) 1970 Seagrave rear-mounts (250-gallon tanks)
  • (5) 1970 Ward LaFrance/Grove units assigned to Truck 7, Truck 12, Truck 18, Truck 21, and Truck 34 (300-gallon tanks)
  • (3) 1972 Mack CF 700/Pirsch 100-foot aerials (with a silver cab face) (300-gallon tanks)

At some point in time, the shops drained the water tanks and removed the booster reels as seen in some of the photos posted HERE and below.

Future posts will show more of these aerials, but the photos here show a few examples.

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Seagrave Rear Admiral O'hare Airport

This is a 1968 Seagrave Rear Admiral 100′ aerial with a 500-gallon booster tank and twin booster reels. It features an FWD chassis with rear steering and was assigned to Truck 63 at O’Hare Airport. Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago Fire Department Truck 5 1972 Mack CF Pirsch

Truck 5 was assigned one of three 1972 100-foot Pirsch rear-mount aerials mounted on a Mack CF chassis with a 500-gallon water tank and twin booster reels. Larry Shapiro photo

Previous posts in this series depicted CFD trucks with boosters from 1967 and CFD trucks with boosters from 1968.

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Lisle-Woodridge FPD history

This from Bill Friedrich:

Here is a shot that a friend sent of Lisle-Woodridge Truck 537 at it’s new home – Wellsburg VFD,WV.  Sporting a new color the tower looks pretty sharp.

Lisle Woodridge FPD historical photo Pirsch LTI tower ladder

Lisle-Woodridge FPD Truck 537, a 1979 Pirsch 1250/200 LTI 85′ tower ladder. This was the only Pirsch/LTI combination ever built. Bill Friedrich photo

Wellsburg WV VFD tower ladder

The Wellsburg VFD in West Virginia purchased the 1979 Pirsch/LTI from Lisle–Woodridge and repainted it. Bill Friedrich collection

Anyone have a shot of this working at a fire in Lisle?

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Elmhurst added to the site

The Elmhurst Fire Department in MABAS Division 12 has been added to the site. Dennis McGuire, Jr. submitted the images. Elmhurst recently underwent a color change from their long standing white over school bus yellow with green striping to a more traditional white over red. They also changed from a E-ONE to Pierce.

EMS units are staffed by contract personnel while the fire suppression units have career firefighters.

Elmhurst Fire Department Medic 1

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Elmhurst Fire Department Engine 1

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Elmhurst Fire Department Engine 3

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Elmhurst Fire Department Mobile Command and Communications Center

Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Previously, Elmhurst had American LaFrance, Pierce, Mack, and Darley engines. The former aerials were both 100′ rear mounts from Pirsch.

Elmhurst Fire Department historic fire apparatus photo

1974 Hendrickson 1871S/Pierce Suburban engine with a 1,500-GPM pump and 500 gallons of water. Larry Shapiro photo

Elmhurst Fire Department American LaFrance 1000 Series

This 1000 Series American LaFrance engine was built in 1971 with a 1,250-GPM ump and 500 gallons of water. Larry Shapiro photo

Elmhurst Fire Department mack Pirsch ladder truck

Elmhurst Truck 1 was previously a 1978 Mack CF/Pirsch that was refurbished in 1992 by RPI. The 100′ rear-mount aerial had a 250-GPM PTO pump with 150 gallons of water. Larry Shapiro photo

Elmhurst Fire Department Pirsch aerial ladder

Elmhurst Truck 2 used o have this 1981 Pirsch aerial ladder that was also refurbished by RPI in 1992. Larry Shapiro photo

 

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CFD Apparatus History – trucks with boosters 1968

As a follow-up to the recent article about the 1968 Mack CF/Pirsch 100-foot aerials with booster tanks, Bill Freidrich submitted these replications of Pirsch literature featuring a Chicago unit.

Vintage brochure from Peter Pirsch & Sons Company featuring a Chicago ladder truck

Vintage brochure from Peter Pirsch & Sons Company featuring a Chicago ladder truck. Bill Friedrich collection

Vintage brochure from Peter Pirsch & Sons Company featuring a Chicago ladder truck

Another page of the brochure showing the aerial raised and the jacks deployed. Bill Friedrich collection

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CFD Apparatus History – trucks with boosters 1968

The Chicago Fire Department purchased aerial ladder trucks with booster tanks and pumps for several years. Beginning in 1966 and spanning through 1973, 31 aerials were delivered from different manufacturers with on-board water. Seven of these were mid-ship aerials and the balance were rear-mounts. Units were built by Seagrave, Pirsch, Ward LaFrance (Grove), and American LaFrance.

This is the second of several posts that will highlight the progression of these truck companies in Chicago. The numbers listed above are revisions from what was originally included in the 1st post.

IN 1968, CHICAGO RECEIVED THREE PIRSCH REAR MOUNTED AERIALS …

These trucks were built on Mack chassis with CF Series cabs. Each truck had a 100-foot rear mounted aluminum ladder, 300 gallons of water, and a 60-GPM pump.

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder

Pirsch delivery photo of a 1968 100′ rear mount on a Mack CF chassis for the Chicago Fire Department. Jack Connors collection

  • The first of these 1968 Mack/Pirsch aerials (Shop #E-170) was assigned to Truck 22. This unit was eventually reassigned to Trucks 47, 16, 35, and 34.
Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 22

Chicago Truck 22 was assigned Shop #E-170 in 1968. This was a Pirsch 100-foot rear mounted aerial on a Mack CF chassis. It carried 300 gallons of water and had a 60-GPM pump. Jack Connor photo

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 47

Shop #E-170 was assigned to Truck 47 after it had been running as Truck 22. This photo shows a canvas cover for the rear jacks instead of the metal doors that were delivered in that area.  Jack Connor photo

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 35

This image shows the rear of E-170 after it was on it’s 4th assignment now as Truck 35. The booster reel is still mounted on the unit, but it is empty. Jack Connor photo

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 16

Shop #E-170 was assigned to Truck 16 after it served truck 47. This was the second 1968 Mack/Pirsch for Truck 16. Bill Friedrich photo

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 34

After some rehab work and the removal of the booster reels, E-170 was assigned for the last time as Truck 34. Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago Fire Department Truck 34 1968 Mack CF Pirsch

Another image of Truck 34 on-scene this time after the booster tank and reels were removed. Steve Redick photo

  • The next (Shop #E-171) was assigned to Truck 16.
Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 16

Shop #E-171 was reassigned to Truck 16. Jack Connors photo

  • The third (Shop #E-172) went initially to Truck 15, then was reassigned to Truck 37 and then Truck 42.
Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 15

The 3rd Pirsch in 1968 went to Truck 15. The rear jacks have no cover in this photo. Jack Connors photo

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Mack CF Pirsch aerial ladder Chicago Truck 37

Shop #E-172 was reassigned to Truck 37 after seeing service as Truck 15. Jack Connor photo

 

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Vintage Pirsch ad with CFD

In this reprint from a September, 1953 issue of Fire Engineering Magazine, the Peter Pirsch & Sons Co. of Kenosha, WI highlights 50 years of building fire engines for the Chicago Fire Department. The ad states that they started with 27 Pirsch Horse Drawn Wagons built in 1907, then there were 3 Pirsch equipped motorized chemical and hose cars in 1912 (the first motorized apparatus in Chicago), followed by 2 Pirsch equipped 600-gallon pumpers in 1916, and then 15 Pirsch 1,000-GPM 2-door cab pumpers built in 1953.

Peter Pirsch & Sons Co ad from 1953 Fire Engineering Magazine

Bill Friedrich collection

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The color of fire trucks (part 4)

The next installment in this series about Chicago area fire trucks looks into departments in MABAS Division 3 that over the years have changed over to red fire apparatus. Also highlighted is a department that was always red but at one time had an engine that was a different color.

Deerfield had two Ward LaFrance P80 series engines with the Ambassador cab. Engine 720 was delivered in 1973 with a 1,250-GPM pump and Engine 712 came in 1977. Engine 720 carried 750 gallons of water , Engine 712 carried 1,000 gallons, and both were painted white over lime green.

Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Department 1977 Ward LaFrance Ambassador engine

Deerfield Engine 712 was a 1977 Ward LaFrance P80 with an Ambassador cab. It had a 1,500-GPM pump with 1,000 gallons of water. Larry Shapiro collection

The Glenbrook Fire Protection District (formerly the Glenview Rural Fire Protection District) merged with the Glenview Fire Department in 1992. The original Glenview Rural trucks were red, then sometime after the district name changed  the Glenbrook apparatus was transitioned to yellow. Subsequent purchases arrived yellow. The department had three American LaFrance Pioneer Series engines, one of which was a newer Pioneer II model. They also had a small squad and a 1968 Ford/Snorkel. The red 75-foot Snorkel was refurbished in 1986 and came back yellow from Pierce with a new four-door Arrow cab. Later they purchased a newer squad from Hackney and two Pierce Arrow engines.

Glenbrook Fire Protection District Engine 144 1976 American LaFrance Pioneer

Glenbrook Engine 144 was a 1976 Pioneer Series from American LaFrance with 750 gallons of water and a 1,250-GPM pump. Larry Shapiro collection

Glenview apparatus has always been red. In 1975, they purchased a pumper-squad from Seagrave with a 300-gallon water tank. Squad 8 came white over lime green. This unit was later repainted red but retained the white roof.

Glenview Fire Department 1975 Seagrave PB series pumper squad

Glenview had this one unit that was not painted red. Pumper-Squad 8 was a 1975 Seagrave P-Series with 300 gallons of water and a 1,500-GPM pump. Larry Shapiro collection

For many years, Northbrook painted their units yellow, having previously been red. They had three engines, a Sutphen tower ladder, two squad units, and utility vehicles that were yellow. They also had a matching yellow stripe on their modular ambulances. The apparatus changed to white over red in 1996 when they received two engines, a squad, and a ladder from Pierce.

Northbrook Fire Department Engine 58 1975 American LaFrance Pacemaker

Northbrook Engine 58 was a 1975 American LaFrance Pacemaker Series engine with 500 gallons of water and a 1,000-GPM pump. The Pacemaker was a conventional custom fire cab by TCM instead of an American LaFrance custom Century or Pioneer cab. Larry Shapiro collection

The Park Ridge Fire Department ran with white over lime green apparatus for many years. Including this conventional Pirsch engine, they had a Mack CF/Pirsch mid-mount ladder, a custom cab-over Pirsch engine, and two Seagrave WB Series low profile engines that were painted to match. They also had stripes on their modular ambulances that matched the apparatus. All but the mid-mount ladder were later repainted red.

Park Ridge 1958 conventional Pirsch fire engine

Park Ridge Engine 44 shown here at a fire scene, was a 1958 conventional cab Pirsch with 500 gallons of water and a 1,000-GPM pump. Steve Redick collection

To see the earlier posts in this series, enter the word color into the search field.

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Bloomingdale has been added to the site

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District No. 1 headquarters fire station 1

Bloomingdale Fire Station 1 on Bloomingdale Road houses the fire department headquarters and the emergency dispatch center. Larry Shapiro photo

The Bloomingdale Fire Protection District No 1 in MABAS Division 12 has been added to the site. Bloomingdale has three stations though one is strictly used for storage. Station 2 at 6N480 Keeney Road (which has a Roselle address) was originally part of the Keeneyville Fire District. This station has two spare engines and an out-of-service ambulance which may be converted to a dive unit.

Bloomingdale Fire Department ambulance

This out-of-service ambulance might be converted into a newer dive unit to replace Dive 9 which is assigned a 1997 Freightliner FL50/Medtec. Larry Shapiro photo

Bloomingdale has their own dispatch center in the basement of Station 1 which serves Bloomingdale in addition to the Elk Grove Township Fire Protection District and theItasca Fire Protection District.

Bloomingdale runs a fleet of Pierce apparatus which includes a tower ladder and three engines on a Lance chassis, one engine on an Enforcer chassis, and an engine on a Quantum chassis. They have on order a 2,000-gallon pumper/tanker on a Velocity chassis which is due this year. The two in-service ambulances as well as the Dive Squad all feature boxes built by Horton.

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District Engine 1 Pierce Quantum

The newest engine in Bloomingdale is this 2005 Pierce Quantum assigned to Engine 1. John Tulipano photo

Prior to becoming a Pierce customer, Bloomingdale was exclusively a Pirsch customer for many years. In 1981, they received the last engine on a custom Pirsch chassis that matched two engines and a 1972 85′ mid-ship quint.

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District 1981 Pirsch custom pumper

In 1981, Bloomingdale Engine 2 featured the last custom cab built by hand at the Pirsch factory in Kenosha. From this point forward, Pirsch purchased stock cabs from Truck Cab Manufacturers (TCM) and applied a trim package to make their appearance unique to Pirsch products. Larry Shapiro collection

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District custom Pirsch mid-mount quint

Bloomingdale Truck 4 was built in 1972 to match one Pirsch engine already in the Bloomingdale fleet complete with the edge warning lights. They would later have a total of four matching custom Pirsch units. Larry Shapiro collection

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