A former resident has offered to give the town a 1914 Federal fire truck that once belonged to the Rye Volunteer Fire Department.
Prescott Greene said he was a member of the town’s volunteer fire department from 1948 to 1957 before moving out of the area.
Greene explained that the department initially came into possession of the truck, which had belonged to the Lynn (MA) Fire Department, after it “hauled it out of a field” in Fremont.
The truck was used as a parade vehicle for many years, but in the late 1950s, someone ran it with no oil in the transmission, causing significant damage, Greene said. The department then sold the antique fire truck to him, he said.
He said he spent three years putting it back together and the truck is now located at his home in western Pennsylvania.
“I’m 78 and I’m trying to simplify my life, and I’d like to give it back to the town of Rye,” he said.
Greene said the historian of the Lynn department has expressed a strong interest in the truck, but he wanted to give “first dibs” to Rye. No decision was immediately made on the offer Tuesday night.
In other antique fire truck news, Fire Chief William “Skip” Sullivan discussed the town’s liability regarding its 1931 Ford Model A fire truck.
Following a fatal accident involving an antique fire truck at a parade in Bangor, Maine, earlier this year, Sullivan said he began to have concerns about the town’s liability in the event of a similar accident.
The Model A is currently housed at the Public Safety Building and on loan to the town firemen’s association from its owner, the Rye Beach Village District, Sullivan said. He said the truck is registered by the town, which municipal insurer Primex has determined exposes the town to liability.
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