Friday, February 29, 2008

WEFR’s 1954 GMC Rescue Squad





In December 1962 a committee was appointed to find a new rescue for the company. Sometime between March and May 1963 the company purchased a 1954 GMC from Morningside Fire Company in Prince Georges County, Maryland for an unknown amount of money (Morningside purchased the chassis and had the body built by Gichener Iron Works). When the unit was purchased it was painted white with red fenders. After purchasing the rig WEFR sent the unit to Brumbaugh Company to have work done on it. The Squad also received an all red paint job. It was designated C-109 and Rescue 54. The rescue was placed in service in August 1963. The rig was equipped with a pump, generator, “A” frame and many small tools. After purchasing another used rescue the company put the GMC up for sale in March 1974 for $5,000 to $6,500. It was removed from service sometime between April and November 1974. The company was unable to find a buyer for the rescue and at company meeting March 2, 1976 they voted to sell the rig to a private group from Scotland, Pa. for $1,000. The group used the rig for parts and to haul a race car. I am unaware of the final outcome of the rescue, so if anyone knows please share it with us.

I have not completed all the fire alarm records over the last 160 years but from what is done I can not account for any major incidents on this date.

12 comments:

Sparky said...

I think this was the best looking Squad 15 had. I don't know why, but when I was little/younger I thought this was the coolest piece of fire apparatus in Shippensburg. It would be nice to find it and restore it.

Bradley Myers said...

I agree this has always been my favorite of all the rigs in the borough, I would love to own it.

Anonymous said...

C.W.

A lot of history with that rig. It was a running fool once you got it started. Had an up-draft carb. Had to push it if you missed the start. First Heavy Squad in the Valley.

JD Byers said...

What is that thing actually called. I have been searching 1954 GMC, but all I can find are pick ups.. I'm just curious to see if I could actually find one..

Bradley Myers said...

I believe GMC called them Cannon Ball COE trucks and the WEFR rig was an F620 or an FW620 I think.

JD Byers said...

After I made my post this morning, I actually found a bunch of them. I searched COE's and found some interesting things people have done with them. If anyone knows who the group from Scotland was, I would be glad to try and track someone down who might know what happened to it.

Anonymous said...

To jd,
I think we are to late, the Scotland men who bought the truck where in the lumber business if memory is right. They reportedly salvaged the rig for hauling lumber. Check with Ron Elliott, I think he may have some knowledge. Ed Goodhart may know something.

C.W.

Anonymous said...

As Crawford said, Some of my fondest memories are pushing the squad down Lurgan Ave to jump start it.

Cincy Bill

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many people can find the blaze-busters in those photos.

RB

Bradley Myers said...

RB I am guessing you are referring to the one on each side, towards the bottom of the rig?

Dale (Wally) said...

Who is the gentleman standing in front of the vehicle ?

Bradley Myers said...

I don't know who he is, I am guessing he is from Morningsode. It is the only photo I have of it before we purchased it.