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Buffalo Fire Engine - Okanogan, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 48° 22.418 W 119° 34.149
11U E 309748 N 5361019
Quick Description: This is the second fire engine owned by the Okanogan Volunteer Fire Department, lovingly restored to better than new condition.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 7/22/2018 8:18:18 PM
Waymark Code: WMYTFB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
Views: 0

Long Description:
One of three motorized pieces of fire fighting equipment in the Okanogan Firemen's Museum, this is the newest of the three. The other two are a 1928 GMC T-40 and a 1918 GMC Fire Wagon.

Made by the Buffalo Fire Apparatus Corporation of Buffalo, NY, this unit was produced near the end of the company's production, and life. Established in 1895, the company began as the Buffalo Chemical Fire Extinguisher Company, beginning to produce engines on various chassis in 1922 and changing its name to the Buffalo Fire Appliance Corporation. This continued until 1927, the next year beginning to produce apparatus on a chassis built in house. In 1946 the company was bought by the Fyr-Fyter Company and the unprofitable apparatus manufacturing arm soon ceased to exist. Over their 26 years of production, the Buffalo Fire Appliance Corporation would complete approximately 2000 pieces of fire apparatus.

There would be fairly minor changes in Buffalo's custom chassis until 1939 when a streamlined body was introduced. This body style would remain with minor cosmetic changes until production ended in 1948. In 1939 Buffalo pumpers would also receive a name which identified the pump capacity. The smallest was the Pathfinder with a 500gpm pump, next was Invincible (750gpm), followed by the Commander (1000gpm). The largest size offered was the Aristocrat which came with a 1250gpm pump.
From the Fire Wiki

From the above and the information accompanying the truck we will assume that this engine was the Aristocrat model.

With the engine in the museum is a comprehensive history, reproduced below.

The Buffalo Truck
Okanogan Fire Department

By 1945, seventeen years after the city of Okanogan purchased Engine #1, city fathers found themselves in the position of needing to purchase a new fire truck. Okanogan had grown, with residential sections spreading both north and south, and insurance underwriters were recommending the city buy a new truck to provide better fire protection for the town. Seventeen years of service had taken its toll on old Engine #1, so the decision was made to replace it.

Representatives of several different companies made proposals to the city council and community members, citing the strengths of their vehicles. At this point the decision became somewhat contentious, as the firemen and several council members preferred the Buffalo truck for its more powerful Hercules engine, but other council members favored the Pirth truck equipped with a Waukesha engine. After much discussion and debate the mayor finally called for a secret vote, and the Buffalo truck was chosen by a vote of 3-2 of the city council.

On March 2, 1945, the city awarded a contract to the Buffalo Fire Appliance Co. of Buffalo, New York, for a new truck to be delivered within 45-60 days after the receipt of government priority, a wartime regulation. The cost to the city for the truck and equipment was $9693.00. However, because of the restrictions and shortages caused by World War II, the city would not take delivery on this truck until January of 1946, nearly a year after the purchase was approved by the city council.

In addition to the Hercules engine, this new truck boasted a dual ignition system utilizing either a magneto, or battery, a 50 gallon heavy gauge gas tank and V type safety glass windows which were independently adjustable. The seat was 68 inches wide, providing room for three fully equipped firemen, and was covered in red leather. The truck's pump was designed for fire department work, and when connected to a hydrant delivering 50 pounds of pressure, could produce 1400 gallons per minute on a fire. It also sported a 200 gallon booster tank, 110 gallons more than that held on Engine #1.

The Buffalo truck, as it was called, would serve as Okanogan's sole fire engine for nearly 20 years, and during that time provided invaluable service on such major fires as the Loup Loup restaurant on Main Street, the county shops, and the major warehouse fires in the early 1960s.

Today, it rests here in the museum in good running order and is still occasionally rolled out for parades. It is not hard to imagine it roaring through the streets of Okanogan, protecting and preserving the lives and livelihoods of the citizens of the town.


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