A 1927 American LaFrance aerial ladder truck is one of four fire department vehicles displayed in the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot (ND).
The ladder truck has special significance. It is one of only five in existence in the U.S., said Jerry Filler, who retired from the department as a battalion chief.
Besides its lengthy ladder and other equipment, a “life net” is attached to the side of the truck.
“We practiced with it,” Filler said. He said he never saw the life net used at a fire in his 41-year career.
The fire trucks have been at the air museum for about 15 years, Filler said.
Filler said there’s a great deal of history that goes along with the vehicles in the air museum. “All were used for many years,” he said.
For example, the 1919 American LaFrance pumper responded to 7,000 calls during its slightly more than 49 years of service to the city, according to a sign by the vehicle.
Filler said the 1927 ladder truck was at every major fire and didn’t go out of service until the 1960s.
Besides the ladder truck and the 1919 pumper, the other vehicles on display are a 1939 American LaFrance pumper and a 1930 REO Speedwagon fire truck.
Details about each vehicle:
The 1919 Type 12 truck was delivered to Minot in October 1919. It cost $12,000. During its years of service to the City of Minot, it responded to about 7,000 calls.
The 1927 Type 31, 75-foot aerial ladder truck was delivered to Minot new in 1927. It cost $16,500.
The 1939 pumper Model J was purchased in December 1939. Its price tag was $11,727.50.
The 1930 REO Speedwagon was restored, with funds provided by the Minot Eagles Club.
The Eagles and its auxiliary in Minot donated an extensive amount of money to refurbish the fire trucks, Filler said.
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