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North Park Fire Department still has its first fire engine from 1947

A shiny antique - but not the safest one on the road
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 7:03 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The North Park Fire Protection District’s fire truck arrived at the station 75 years ago. Now it’s on display as a piece of the region’s history.

The truck made by the Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation is the first one used by the North Park Fire Protection District. It was delivered to the station in January 1947 and named “Unit One”. Up until 1947, North Park used Rockford Fire Department trucks for a small fee for the areas they were covering. After a house fire killed 2 children, 12 North Park firefighters got together to fight for the department’s first engine.

It features a bell, seats two people in the front while the rest of the crew hangs onto the back. It also has a very old logbook that follows the truck’s history.

“The logbook that was kept with the rig for service and calls is dated back. These ones are from the late 60s when this rig was finally taken out of services in the late 60 to early 70s,” North Park Fire Department Deputy Chief Andy Schroeder says.

Unit One holds up to 400 gallons of water compared to modern fire engines that hold 1000 gallons of water.

The engine was retired in 1973.

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