DIMMITT, TX (KFDA) - Volunteer firefighters in Dimmitt are working to breathe new life in an old fire truck built for the city in 1929.
They’re hoping to get it out into the community and use it to educate the public on the fire department’s history.
“Local parades, county parades, more than likely some of the surrounding towns,” said Dimmitt VFD Cpt. David Stephens. “Fire prevention week to help educate some of the younger kids on how the fire service has changed throughout the years.”
But they said it’s going to take a lot of costly work to get it up and running again.
“The engine was replaced with a newer engine sometime in the 1940′s,” said Stephens. “The engine that’s in it right now has a cracked block. We do have a couple of blocks sourced, so we’re just kind of limited to accessing parts and what not to get the engine put back together to replace it.”
The fire truck has been here at the Castro County Historical Museum since the mid-1980′s and they’re hoping to restore it to preserve the history it holds for the city of Dimmitt.
“I was reading in the history book that was written in 1989 and it was actually purchased by the city for $4,000,” said the museum’s secretary Leta Dennis. “I’ve been told it’s a Texas-made truck and it was donated to the museum in 1988. And it’s been housed there ever since. We have a large barn there and if we can get it redone, it will certainly be a feature presentation for us. We’re excited about them redoing it.”
For Captain Stephens, restoring the truck has sentimental value.
“It’s kind of a second generation for me. I helped my dad re-paint this truck and get it running back in the 1970′s while he was a mechanic for the city,” he said. “My son will be the third generation, he is interested in going into the fire service and helping with the truck. And hopefully my grandson that’s on the way will be the fourth generation. So if we can preserve this fire truck, maybe it can go down another four or five generations or more.”
He wants to use the truck to spark widespread interest in the volunteer fire service.
“It’s getting where anymore volunteer fire departments are having a very, very hard time getting people to volunteer," said Stephens. "So hopefully it’ll help with interest in the volunteer fire department.”