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TBT - Our First Ladder Truck
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By Member NSFC Webmaster
May 2, 2024

Today we look back at the fire company’s first ladder truck.

It was 1968 the Fire Company had just finished the new firehouse. Additionally, they purchased a new 1967 Ward LaFrance and started looking at expanding the fire company’s capabilities with the addition of a ladder truck.

At this point in time a number of apartment buildings had been built. The reach of our ground ladders was 35 feet.

They found they used 1957 American LaFrance Midship mount 85-foot aerial located at the Chillum-Adelphia Fire Company of Prince George's County, MD

In addition to its aerial ladder, it had a 500-gallon GPM pump and 200 gallons of water. The cost of the used ladder truck was $20,000. This truck would serve the township until 1975 when it would be replaced.

Add a Comment Add a Comment 2 Comment(s)

DAVID A FATORA May 13, 2024 at 3:06 PM
I was one of the the primary drivers for CAFD Truck #34 from 1964 to 1966, responding to hundreds of calls in PG and Montgomery Counties. The truck was an excellent ladder truck, that sometimes was used as a quint when staffing was too low for both truck and engine operations. TK34 was equipped with a 6 cylinder Continental engine, and a 5 speed manual transmission with a two-speed rear axle. The rear axle was mostly left in the high range, and four speeds used for most operation. The low gear was used only on starts at a steep grade. I have several photos from 1966 of the truck parked at Station 34 that can be emailed if of interest. Also, I learned of the trucks history post Chillum from Joe Shapiro, a former Newtown member. Thanks for the great web page- Dave.

Newtown Square Fire Company May 15, 2024 at 7:19 PM
Thank you!

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