VIDEO: The Elmira Heights Fire Department is rolling out a piece of history for Memorial Day. A restored 1938 Ward LaFrance fire engine will be taking part in Memorial Day parades in Elmira Heights and Horseheads.
“I don’t know if people are drawn to it because it looks different or just because they believe it’s a part of history, but it always attracts attention no matter where it goes,” said First Assistant Chief Jason Mitchell.
“How does it drive?” asked 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina.
“It’s a chore. It’s complicated,” said Mitchell. “There’s no power anything. The gears are not synchromesh, the brakes are about the only powered thing on it. It’s great responsibility knowing that if anything happens, there’s no more like it. When it was in operation, you used to be allowed to ride on the sideboards and the beaver tail. If you had two in the cab, you would often see three or four men on each side plus another three or four guys hanging off the back on the way to the call..."