We are marking the 20th anniversary of our department accepting delivery of two American LaFrance pumpers.
One was assigned to Company 1 and one to Company 3. The 'blessed event' even inspired our resident artist John
Tsokalas to come up with a drawing commemorating the event on a T-shirt.
It, however, was not the first or the last time this has happened. The first multiple 'delivery' experienced by the South Manchester Fire Department was actually sextuplets! Six two-wheeled hose carts were delivered in June 1898. One was assigned to each of the five companies in existence at the time and one, which was intended for a sixth company which never organized, was given to Company No. 4.
The next multiple delivery was triplets. In January 1906, three horse-drawn hose wagons were delivered for Companies 2, 3 and 4 of the SMFD. (Company 1 always purchased their own apparatus and Company 5 was merged with Company 4 the previous year.)
There were then two instances of apparatus which were often mistaken for twins. In July 1942 Company 4 was blessed with an American LaFrance 500 Series pumper, a rare event during the war years and difficult to get. In November 1945, Company 3 received an identical piece and persons seeing the one easily confused it with the other without looking at the number on the door. The same thing happened in 1950 when Company 2 got a new 700 Series American LaFrance pumper (later moved to station 4) and Company 1 received an identical piece the following year.
The "twins" pictured on the T-shirt were actually delivered on October 19, 1990. They were a pair of American LaFrance Century 2000 Series pumpers which are currently spares designated as Engine 7 and Engine 8.
The next 'twins' were the Pierce Quints which are assigned to Station 1 and Station 3. At least one is scheduled for replacement in the near future. The final set of 'twins' were two new American LaFrance pumpers which went on line around the middle of September, 2006. One was assigned to Station 2 and brought a truck with water back to the center of town. The Tac/Rescue unit it replaced was placed on a "special call" status. The second new piece was assigned to Station #4.