“Old Betsy”—30 Years Young—Pride of Sunset Heights Vamps
Overlooking Bridgeport, Ohio, is Sunset Heights which, prominent among other attributes, sports the Sunset Heights Fire Department. The chief topic of conversation among the Heights firemen is “Old Betsy.”
“Old Betsy” is a Seagrave pumper, vintage of 1920, which lived a very busy life in Bridgeport, not far from Martins Ferry, O. But like all things, time crept up on “Old Betsy” and she became really old. So, when the Bridgeport brothers heard that neighboring Sunset Heights was in the market for a pumper, they thought that this was a fine time to put “Old Betsy” out to pasture. And they sold her to Sunset Heights for $1 cash on delivery.
The Heights organization is composed of some 150 members, headed by William Kelly, president, and D. Walter Fawcell, Secry.-treas, The fire fighters consist of 25 active and eight “social” members. And it’s nothing to see and hear them roaring off, to answer an alarm, come snow, sleep, rain or shine, in their 1920 model pumper, with Fire Chief Bill Leightner and Assistants Bob Wilson and Fred Delman on the job.
Bill, the mechanic of the organization, likes to tell how they dug “Old Betsy” out from under a pile of ashes, after paying the $1. overhauled her from bumper to tail light, adding the missing parts and polishing and painting all the old parts, so that today the old sway-backed “Betsy” takes a back seat for nobody. Auxiliary equipment, including foam, carbon dioxide, a lift pump for drafting from shallow wells, and numerous other accessories have been added to fit out “Old Betsy.” That’s why today she steps along with the best of ’em, say the vamps on the Heights.