9834 Flora Vista Street · Bellflower, California
Equipment · Education · Entertainment
HOME OF THE WORLD FAMOUS ENGINE AND SQUAD 51
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MUSEUM RANDOM SHOT
by President, Paul Schneider
We found this image online while searching through the USC digital library and it works well for this Fire Warden’s edition of “Random Shot”. This is the original Truck 8. In fact this is the first LA County Truck Company placed in service. Prior to our Department having a truck company certain engines carried extension ladders of up to 45’ in length. Most of the areas our Department served did not have structures that could not be accessed by these ladders. A notable exception was the Hollywood/Sherman areas served by Engines 7 and 8.
It is hard to believe that our Department was nearly twenty-five years old before we finally placed a truck company in service. Then again it’s hard to believe our Department was sixty-five years old before we bought a tiller truck but I digress. The first truck was Truck 8 and the second was Truck 27. These two trucks were built by American LaFrance and were of the mid mount variety which allowed for a good selection of wooden ground ladders, the longest of which was a 50’ extension. Mid mount refers to the aerial being mounted directly behind the engine as opposed to the rear mount trucks that our Department operated exclusively from the early 1970s to 1989. Our “Snorkels” were also rear mounts.
The reason I chose this picture was not so much for the truck as for the kids on it. When I was a boot (I know OP, I’m still a boot to you) I remember the Captains referring to us new guys as kids. I just dismissed those comments as being what “old” guys just felt compelled to say. When we were beating the hell out of each other all night, the Captain’s would just shake their heads and mutter “damn kids”.
When we wore our dinner instead of ate it, “damn kids”, when we poured out of the smoking ruins of a burned up building, smiling ear to ear, “damn kids”, when we made each other laugh when we wanted to cry, “damn kids”. Well now I’m the old guy and when I look at this picture I see my guys. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it.