Cleveland Firefighters Work to Raise Funds for Fire Apparatus Restoration

Cleveland firefighters are working to raise funds to restore a 1939 Ford pumper.

The truck has been sitting in a hangar at Cleveland’s training field station since before the current crews can remember. Once it is restored it will be housed in the Cleveland fire museum.

Firefighters want to raise around $20,000 to bring it back to its glory days and show off the huge changes firefighting has undergone in the past century.

“It’s a part of the history of this town,” said Fire Chief Brian McNevin, who joined the Cleveland team in April. “We’re going to fix her up and get her as much back to her former glory as we can.”

One donor has already pledged $1,000 to get them going. If they are successful, the plan is to put the engine on permanent display for Cleveland’s population to enjoy.

“We’re going to bring this truck home,” said McNevin, who has done this once before with a 1938 fire truck at the Canton (Texas) Fire Department.

At the time, it was state of the art, cost about $2,000, and was capable of pumping 500 gallons of water per minute.

Today’s fire engines pump three times that and can cost upwards of $1 million, according to McNevin. Cleveland’s current 2010 “basic pumper” cost around $300,000.

There’s nothing basic about the basic pumper, though. Where the 1939 truck merely pumped water, the 2010 truck does much, much more.

“Back in 1939 all we did was fight fire, now we carry hydraulic rescue equipment for cutting people out of cars, Hazmat protection equipment, EMS gear … the fire service is so diversified now,” said McNevin.

Almost every high end truck in the area was used back in September when Cleveland FD fought it’s biggest ever fire.  50 firefighters with 20 fire trucks faced down a massive fire at a flea market on U.S. 59 near Fostoria.

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