Monroe firefighters restore 1924 Model T fire truck

As part of the city’s bicentennial celebration, the Monroe Fire Department will be unveiling its restored 1924 Model T fire truck at tonight’s City Council meeting.

The Model T had been in storage at the Monroe Historical Society, according to Assistant Fire Chief Richard Mascarella.

He said the two-year restoration project was funded completely through donations and thousands of volunteer man-hours. Many local businesses also donated or provided discounted services to help insure the project could be completed within budget.

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No one has yet seen the completed project, Mascarella said.

“It is critically important to us that no one sees it until Tuesday night,” he said.

Mascarella said the restored truck will be featured at upcoming parades and events during Monroe’s bicentennial celebration this year.

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He said most pieces of the original fire engine where able to be reused.

Monroe Fire Department unveils restored fire truck

“Just as an example of the time several of the firefighters have dedicated to the restoration, each wheel was disassembled and the wooden spokes hand sanded to remove the multiple coats of paint before each spoke was sealed and varnished and then reassembled,” Mascarella said. “This process accounted for approximately 1,500 man-hours per wheel.”

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In Monroe’s early years, fire protection was through a volunteer citizen bucket brigade. After a significant fire, however, the village purchased a 1924 Model EB Prospect triple combination pumper chemical and hose truck fire truck that could pump 250 gallons of water as well as carry hoses and various tools.

The village used fines collected from it’s Prohibition era liquor court to buy the fire truck, according to Mascarella.

He said the truck remained in service from 1924 until 1947 when it was condemned by the State Fire Marshal and underwriters as an inadequate piece of fire equipment. After the truck was taken out of service, Mascarella said the Monroe Volunteer Fire Association kept the fire truck to be used in parades.

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Monroe City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Monroe City Building, 233 S. Main St.

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