Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Ready to roll from Springfield Fire Headquarters on North Fountain Avenue

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Photo: Youngstown Fire web site
Old Engine 1 - Circa 1937 - Springfield, Ohio
In December 1937, the Springfield Fire Division took delivery of a closed-bed American LaFrance sedan pumper. This unique rig was assigned to the Central Engine House as Engine 1. There wasn't a rear running board like most engines of the era. Everyone traveled in the cab or the covered hose bed. Firefighters dubbed it the "Covered Wagon." It remained a front-line pumper until 1959.

Motor Driven Combinations in Fire Department Service
By Samuel F. Hunter, Chief of Fire Department, Springfield, Ohio.
Excerpt from Municipal Engineering
June 1913 
The city of Springfield, Ohio, not only enjoys the distinction of being the first municipality in this country to purchase a motor-driven pumping engine, but has reason to be proud of the fact that she was among the first cities in this section to realize the advantages and the savings of motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagons.

We have three of these motor-driven combinations in service and, while the financial saving over horse-drawn apparatus is considerable, the special advantage of being in a position of getting to a large number of fires in double-quick time and knocking them out before they gain headway, cannot be over estimated. The efficiency of our fire department has increased many fold since the installation of these machines, which are located in strategic positions, thus being enabled to make quick trips to the remotest parts of the city in four minutes' time.

These motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagons were furnished us by the Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company, Springfield, Ohio. Every part of these machines is very carefully and durably made and it is my belief that the motor has fewer parts than any other 4-cylinder, 4-cycle head motor built. This motor is not only completely enclosed, including the valves, but the only moving parts exposed are the two cross-shafts in front, which drive the magneto and water circulating pump.
The equipment of our combination chemical and hose wagon includes 1,200 to 1,500 feet of 2 1/2-Inch hose, one 40- gallon chemical tank, two 3-gallon acid and soda chemical extinguishers, hose basket, 200 feet of 3/4-inch hose, one nickel plated shut-off nozzle, one 20-foot extension ladder, one 12-foot roof ladder, together with the usual equipment of plaster hooks, pike poles, axes, storage battery, speedometer, lamps, lanterns, torches, nozzle plugs, etc.
Our motor-driven combinations respond to all alarms of fire in the city on first call and are always the first apparatus to arrive at the fire. Our combinations after reporting back at the engine house are ready for another alarm of fire 20 to 30 minutes sooner than our horse-drawn equipment, which responds to the same fire reports on duty with the horses sweating and blowing and tired and many times almost exhausted, and not in a condition to respond to another and immediate alarm of fire.