Archive for January 25th, 2021

Bloomington FIre Department history … 1928 Ahrens-Fox N-S-4

Excerpts from

former Bloomington IL Fire Department 1928 Ahrens Fox fire engine

Betsy Hansen photo

Bob McMahon, a retired University of Southern Maine economics professor living in the Villages, Fla., talks about his 1928 Ahrens-Fox N-S-4 fire truck.

former Bloomington IL Fire Department 1928 Ahrens Fox fire engine

Betsy Hansen photo

When my wife, Linda, and I retired some years ago, we joined the volunteer fire department in Pownal, Maine. That’s when I got into old firetrucks. I have always loved mechanical things. At one time, I owned a 65-foot steam tugboat. I collected old sawmill machinery for a while, and my wife and I once had five firetrucks. The 1928 Ahrens-Fox, built in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the last of those, and the best.  

I got this one in 2004. Andy Swift, who owns Firefly Restoration in Maine does museum-quality firetruck restorations. I dealt with him on another truck, and one day he called me and said, “I got this truck you should have.” He specializes in Ahrens-Fox trucks, and for some reason he did not want to tackle this project. The truck was missing a lot of parts and it wasn’t running. I bought it, poked at it for a while, and when we moved to Florida, I had it shipped here so I could continue working on it.

Over the years, some 30 different people helped me restore this truck. It is not terribly expensive entertainment because I did most of the work myself, and I can eventually sell it. Today, it runs beautifully and it pumps water. It is an amazing machine. There are really two kinds of old firetrucks, the kind that carry a lot of water because they were intended for rural areas where there were no hydrants, and trucks used in cities and towns that could connect to hydrants. This one is a city truck. It has a four-piston pump cast out of bronze—a beautiful casting—and it was built to pump a thousand gallons a minute.

Ahrens-Fox also built their own engines. This one has a 998 cubic inch six-cylinder, with pistons as big as coffee cans. The engine has huge torque, but I think the truck only gets about 4 miles per gallon.

I was able to ascertain that this was originally owned by the fire department in Bloomington, IL who had it for 30 years. I have driven it in parades, and twice it won the Best In Show award at the Florida Antique Bucket Brigade firetruck. 

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New tower ladder for Buffalo Grove (more)

From the Fire Service, Inc. Facebook page:

Chief Mike Baker of the Buffalo Grove Fire Department talks about their new E-ONE HP 100 quint platform and how it will help serve their community in this episode of Truck Talk. Features include 100′ platform, 300-gallon tank, 2000-gpm pump, EMS cabinet, slide out trays and V-MUX multiplex monitor system. #EONEstrength#firetruck#aerials#HP100


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York Center FPD squad for sale

Found at

2005 Pierce Arrow XT Heavy Rescue for sale

York Center FPD photo

2005 Pierce Arrow XT Heavy Rescue – $60,000  
  • Stock#: 14436
  • 2005
  • Pierce
  • Arrow XT Pierce Chassis
  • Custom
  • Length: 35′ 7″
  • Truck Height: 10′ 8″
  • Wheelbase: 217″
  • Seating for 6; 4 SCBA seats
  • Mileage: 152,497
  • Engine Hours: 7,068
  • Detroit Series 60 425 HP Diesel Engine

thanks Daniel

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New pumper tanker for Sycamore FPD (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

Update on the Sycamore FD pumper/tender chassis

fire engine being built for the Sycamore FPD

Rosenbauer photo

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