For Immediate Release
Carlisle All-Truck Nationals 2009: August 7-9 at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds
Local Heroes Celebrated as Part of the Vintage Fire Truck Display
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
The 2009 Carlisle All-Truck Nationals is one of the largest specialty, off-road and collector truck oriented events in the world. Representing all aspects of the collector truck hobby will be over 2,000 trucks, everything from Mini Trucks with the frames dragging the street to Monster Trucks crushing tiny compact cars.
A new display for this year’s All-Truck Nationals that is sure to be a favorite of anyone who dreamed of wearing red, saving lives and hanging out at the firehouse is the Vintage Fire Engine Display. Four trucks from three local fire companies (Boiling Springs, Carlisle and Shippensburg) will display their vintage blaze battlers throughout the weekend as part of the invitational truck display, housed in Building T on the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds. Members of each company will be on-hand to talk about the history of the trucks and to talk about fire safety.
Information on two of the four fire engines on display below:
1945 Mack Fire Truck
Owned by the South Middleton Township Fire Company #35 in Boiling Springs, PA
In 1945, the Boling Springs Fire Company purchased a ‘45 Mack fire engine, the very first motorized truck that the company owned. With World War II still being fought, a War Necessity Certificate was needed because of steel and metal rationing. That certificate is kept with the truck today and is said to be almost as valuable as the truck itself. The story is told that one of the very first calls that the truck went out on was responding to a shed fire just off the banks of the Yellow Breeches Creek. The light from the fire was so bright that the insects on the creek came out thinking it was daylight. With the bugs came the fish. Once the men in the company saw how active the fish were, they dropped their hoses and grabbed their reels and tackle to take advantage of the biting Trout. Ira Stone, Fire Chief at the time, was not too pleased with his men and garaged their new toy, the ’45 Mack, as punishment. The same truck served the Boling Springs Fire Company, now known as the South Middleton Fire Company, for an astounding 37 years, until 1982. Between ‘85 and ’90 the truck was restored to its pre-war self by Ivan Bratzman. The restoration reportedly cost around $5,000 and was done because the veteran fire fighters in the house wanted to have the engine on display to celebrate the history of the company. With the exception of this weekend, that is exactly where you can find the truck today, in nearby Boling Springs, PA at the South Middleton Township Fire Company #35 house.
1929 American LaFrance Metropolitan Owned by the Union Fire Company in Carlisle, PA
Purchased for $10,750 in 1929 – a very significant investment at the time - this 1929 American LaFrance Metropolitan Type 245 Pumper Fire Engine was a necessary acquisition by the Union Fire Company of Carlisle in fighting local and regional fires. The ‘29 was purchased to replace a 1913 American LaFrance which broke down while fighting the historical Kronenburg Fire in the town of Carlisle. This truck, unlike its predecessor, lasted over 30 years, serving the Union Fire Company until 1960. Many historical fires, not only within the Borough of Carlisle but also in surrounding communities, were fought with the aid of the ’29 LeFrance. The restoration effort to return the engine to the condition it is in today was completed in 2000, after a year and a half of work. The engine was parked behind the firehouse under a tarp for several years until the Union Company completed an addition on the station in 1988. Around that time, it was decided that the older part of the station would be turned into a museum, with the ‘29 as the center piece. It took almost an entire decade to make the dream a reality. After raising the $21,000 needed for the restoration through fund raisers performed by volunteer members of the company and private donations from generous philanthropists like Sadie Line (widow of Frank Line) and Janet Althouse, Ivan Bretzman of Mt. Holly Springs was given the tall task of restoring the engine to its former glory. As you will see this weekend, Ivan once again wet down another classic fire engine, to be presented as it was many years ago. This engine can also be seen at the Union Fire Company house in Carlisle in the museum and is only taken out for special occasions. We are glad and grateful to the guys and gals at Union for what they do and for considering the 2009 All-Truck Nationals one of those special occasions.
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Journalist note: Information about Carlisle Events, its event listings, auction offerings and the Carlisle Expo Center is available to journalists by phone:
717-243-7855 ext. 133
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