The Intriguing History of Truck 1
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The Intriguing History of Truck 1

"Looking Back" by Greg Roembke

The New Truck Is Here, Finally!

It was pretty exciting around Station 1 the morning of March 3, 1951. The Mayor, Chief McKinney and other dignitaries were on hand as newly organized Truck Company 1 marked On Station.

The men at Station 1 also had another reason to celebrate. Station 1, located at 1445 West Michigan Street was where all of the Black firefighters were assigned. The addition of the Truck provided new opportunities for Officers, Chauffeurs and firefighters. Captain Roy Howard was introduced, along with Lieutenant Pelman Johnson.

The Chief spoke of the importance of adding the Truck to this rapidly growing Hospital area. He then went on to state that a newly ordered 75’ Maxim aerial truck would be assigned to the 1’s once it arrived.

Using a Reserve Truck, a 1921 Stutz Service Truck, the new crew of Truck 1 went to work. But of course, that new aerial should be here before long.

Yes, it was pretty exciting around the 1’s.

Well, 1951 faded into 1952. On January 25th, Engine 1 received a new Maxim Pumper. Hey, that new aerial was ordered about the same time, so it shouldn’t be much longer. Just over one month later, a new truck did show up at the 1’s. Or should we say a different truck. A 1948 Buffalo Service Truck took the place of the Stutz. It was observed that this truck had last been seen at the 7’s.

Sure enough, a quick trip by the 7’s reveled that a new 75’ Maxim aerial was sitting where the Buffalo Service truck had been. Wonder if they ordered two of those aerials?

Well, they hadn’t. Like all good plans, this one had changed. It was decided that the new aerial was need for the Downtown area. It also must have been decided that any new aerial truck that the City purchased must go to the 7’s, because that’s what happened for the next 15 years or so. The only exception was when the City bought 2 new aerials in 1956, and both of them wouldn’t fit at the 7’s.

But like most stories, this one has a happy ending. In July 1955, the 1’s got another truck. And as promised, four years and four months earlier, a 75’ Maxim aerial truck backed into the station. One owner, only slightly used.