Antique Fire Apparatus Show Planned in Germantown (OH)

Visitors to this year’s Antique Fire Apparatus Show can view old-time fire equipment and participate in an old-time firefighting practice: the bucket brigade.

The 17th Annual Antique Fire Apparatus Show in Germantown (OH) is planned for Saturday, July 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Veterans Memorial Park on North Walnut Street. The show, sponsored by the Germantown Firefighters Association and the Miami Valley Antique Fire Apparatus Association, will feature about 40 pieces of firefighting equipment.

“We get everything from the 1800s up to modern times,” said Matt McClain, vice president of the Miami Valley Antique Fire Apparatus Association. “Any firetruck is welcome.”

McClain, a captain with the Dayton Fire Department, will be displaying his 1958 American LaFrance open-cab pumper truck. He noted the show also features much older equipment, including some that are horse-drawn and some that are hand-drawn, or pulled by people.

A piece that always attracts attention is the Germantown Firefighters Association’s hand-drawn pumper that dates to 1873.

Craig Travisano, president of the Germantown Firefighters Association, said that it takes 16 people to push it. Up to a dozen people are used to pump the water. While it has not been used for firefighting for decades, it is still operational.

“She’s still pumping today,” Travisano said, adding that the pumper will be demonstrated at the annual show.

Spectators can also see another old firefighting technique: the bucket brigade. Before the times of water pumping equipment, firefighters stood in line and passed buckets of water to each other in an effort to extinguish the fire.

This year’s show will feature a bucket brigade competition. Travisano said the competition will involve teams of six people each. One person will scoop water from a holding tank into a leather bucket and pass it to the person standing next to him. The bucket will be passed along the line until the final person empties the bucket. The team that fills a 55-gallon bucket first wins. The bucket brigade competition will go on throughout the day.

Admission to the show is free. For more information, call Matt McClain at (937)572-6265 or visit

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