U.S. Fire Fighters Rebuild Pumper and Save $40,000
The federal fire fighters at the Long Beach, Calif., Naval Support Activity recently refurbished a 1965 American LaFrance pumper that was originally slated to be replaced.
The project, which took 14 months, cost $20,000, but a new pumper would have cost between $60,000 and $80,000. Thus, the Long Beach naval fire fighters saved the federal government over $40,000.
The restoration project was undertaken by Captains Ken Newton and Fred Swen with the assistance of fire fighters from both shifts. Long Beach Naval Shipyard workers earned the gratitude of the fire fighters by donating time and services to the project.
The pumper was stripped down and sent to Santa Fe Springs to have the engine rebuilt at a cost of $5000. It was then sent to another shop to have the pump rebuilt for $4000.
Once the engine and pump work was completed, the next step was to prepare the pumper for painting. All chrome parts were taken off to be rechromed. All gages were removed and new compartments were fabricated. The entire electrical system was removed and all new wiring was installed. An aqueous film-forming foam system and transverse hose beds were installed. The main hose bed was completely refabricated, as was the engine cover and numerous other parts.
When all metal work was completed and put into place Swen’s father donated a weekend to weld everything back into place. After the structural work was completed, the pumper was stripped down and all necessary body work was done for the final preparation for paint.
An auto body shop painted the pumper with polyurethane yellow enamel for $5000. Then the cab interior was painted, interior soundproofing was installed, and the pump panel and gages were put back in place. The radio and emergency lights were reinstalled, and all the finishing touches completed.
The pumper was placed back in service last September.