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Bath Township Fire Department plans to restore nearly 80-year-old firetruck

1945 Ford John Bean high pressure pumper sitting in a firestation
Bath Township Fire Department
The department needs more operating space in its fire station, so the truck has to move.

The Bath Township Fire Department is looking to restore its nearly 80-year-old firetruck.

The department used the 1945 Ford John Bean high-pressure pumper for about three decades.

Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Douglas says some of the firemen who served on the truck include his great-grandfather, great uncle and grandfather.

1945 Ford John Bean high-pressure pumper firetruck in a parade. The date is unknown
Bath Township Fire Department
The truck was the first brand new piece of equipment the department bought in 1945.

"My grandpa used to tell me, they would have times where it wouldn't start, so they'd have to push it out of the station," he said. "Main Street in town is a hill, so they would push it down the hill to get it going."

The truck was in storage for decades before moving to the township’s fire station built in 2001, but there’s no longer room for it in the space.

Douglas says they hope to find a new place to store the truck as well as to get it up and running again, so it can be driven at local events.

"We'd like to get it back into a running condition. That way we could use it for parades or antique car shows or anything like that. We'd like to be able to bring it back out to the community and show the community it and possibly find somewhere else to keep it for the time being."

The fire department posted on its social media pages last week looking for ideas from community members. Some residents have said they're willing to store it. The department has also reached out to the Michigan Firehouse Museum in Ypsilanti.

Douglas says his team is still in the early stages of figuring out the next steps for the truck’s restoration and storage.

Sophia Saliby is the local producer and host of All Things Considered, airing 4pm-7pm weekdays on 90.5 FM WKAR.
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