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Those Magnificent Flying Foxes

Ahrens-Fox. The name alone conjures images of long, graceful fire engines, chrome gleaming in the light, water being pumped seemingly effortlessly. Often referred to as the “Rolls Royce” of fire engines, Ahrens-Fox apparatus was known for a high level of craftsmanship and impressive build quality. The other Ahrens-Fox calling card was the large pressure dome, or air chamber, placed in front of the engine. More on that in a moment… Like many fire apparatus manufacturers in the early twentieth century, the Ahrens-Fox Fire Engine Company was the result of several business mergers, separations, and restructurings, with its earliest beginnings in the 1850s. Founded by John P. Ahrens and his broth

A Brief History of the Repair Shop

The Repair Shop, a valuable asset of any fire department, has been a mainstay in many cities for more than a century. Often, the duties of “the Shop” have been replaced by a city garage, or in some cases contracted out to private companies. Whereas the Shop worked only on the apparatus of the fire department, a municipal garage may work on buses, garbage trucks, snow plows, and police cars, in addition to fire department vehicles. During the early to mid-twentieth century, it was quite common for larger fire departments to even have their own tow truck, in order to ensure the prompt retrieval of disabled fire apparatus. For many fire departments, the purpose of a repair shop was for the repa

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