SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER, SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION AND APPRECIATION OF ANTIQUE MOTOR FIRE APPARATUS IN AMERICA

Featured Rig

November-December 2003

1971 Crown Firecoach Aerial Ladder Truck


 Original Owner: Arcata (CA) Volunteer Fire Department
Manufacturer: Crown Coach, Los Angeles, CA 
Model: Firecoach Aerial (CF-100-54)
Year: 1971
Serial No.: F1663
Powerplant: International 549ci gasoline
Transmission: Allison 6 speed automatic
Aerial: 100’ Maxim, four-section, midship mounted



This aerial ladder truck served the Arcata, California, Fire Department from 1971 to 2002, as Truck 3. It was one of only seven midship-mounted ladder trucks that Crown produced. The aerial was built by Maxim, and has the distinction of having a four section ladder, instead of the normal three-section, so that the truck would be shorter to fit inside the Arcata headquarters station. In 1993, the rig was repowered with a 549 c.i. International Harvester like the original. When retired from first-line service, it had 8,709 original miles and 163.4 hours on the ladder hydraulic pump. In January 2003, the truck was acquired by CFE member Darrell Gilbert, complete with ground ladders, ladder pipe, pike poles and axes. It is now part of the newly formed California Fire Museum in Orange County, CA.


(Click on photos to see bigger images)

Above, right and left side views of Crown S/N F1663 in front of the Arcata headquarters fire station.
Above left, early 1980s photo with the units of the Arcata FD in front of the headquarters station. Crown ladder truck is in center. Above right, the Crown with some of Arcata's rigs in the late 1990s.
Above left and right, the Crown ladder truck working at a fire in the Arcata business district in the early 1980s.
Above left, an Arcata firefighter prepares to set up the aerial at a working dawn fire. Above right, with the stick up in the air at an early morning fire at a hardware store on February 10, 1990.
1978 photo shows the aerial partially raised in front of one of Arcata's Victorian homes.
Above left and right, ladder pipe operations at a fully invovled building fire at the Arcata airport. Unlike modern aerial trucks, there is no remote on the Crown - a firefighter must climb the ladder to direct the stream.
Left and right above, July 26, 2001, the Crown ladder truck operates a yet another major fire in downtown Arcta, which destroyed there buildings, including a histroic 1880s former theater. Read the article and view the image gallery at the website of the ArcataEye "America's most popular and obscure small town newspaper."
Above left, in line for the apparatus parade at the CFE Pump-In at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA, April 27, 2003. Above right, on display at the California State Firefighters Association Convention, September 13-16, Costa Mesa, CA.




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