Rob Albino, owner of Eagle Auto Body and Eclectic Cars in Middletown and president and lieutenant at the fire company, knew just where to find a fire truck to use for parades. Albino found the 1960 American LaFrance Pumper in Pine Island.
Members of the fire department decided to do the assembly and disassembly themselves. Don Sherman was the leader with the reassembly, while Anne Casullo, Sue Gray and Jim S. Gray Sr. also enjoyed having a personal touch in refurbishing the truck. The truck wasn’t in too bad shape; a little rust in the compartments needed clearing up, a new coat of paint and that special touch by some passionate firemen were all it needed.
Kevin Calnan and Melissa Fimognari, owners of Maaco in New Hampton, did amazing work on the body and paint. James’ Window Tinting in Middletown applied the lettering, Rosen Glass in Middletown replaced the glass and Sandy’s Bumper Mart in Syracuse rechromed the bumpers.
After about five years it was finished and Albino drove it in its first parade, the Middletown Fire Parade, in 2014. George Lattimer, 97, one of the oldest active members, sat in the passenger seat proudly ringing the bell. “It was a great day,” said Albino.
The ’24 is a three-tank chemical fire engine. A bottle is inserted in the water tank. When arriving at the fire a hammer lever breaks the bottle and a chemical reaction and pressure occurs and then you can operate the hose.
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