1966 Pirsch Aerial Truck.JPG

1966 (1949 used) Pirsch 65' Aerial Truck

In August 1966, we purchased this 1949 Pirsch 65’ aerial truck from the Somerville Fire Department. The open cab, equipped with a canvas roof that operated like a window shade, seated 3 firefighters while everyone else stood on the running boards and hung on. The aluminum, 3-section aerial ladder was hydraulically powered and featured a 2½” nozzle mounted at the top, with the supply hose secured on the ladder rungs. The apparatus had a full complement of wooden ladders, including a 40’ Bangor ladder with tormentor poles. It carried forcible entry tools and ventilation equipment, salvage covers, extinguishers, and a small amount of hose to protect the apparatus from the fire. (The aerial truck, in order to reach the fire building, usually parked pretty close to it. When conditions got out of hand at the Supreme Fur Dressing Factory fire, the driver saved the apparatus by quickly moving it away from the building while the aerial was still raised. On another occasion, when the heat became intense at the Orlando’s Restaurant Fire and the red warning lights started to melt, the driver moved the truck down the street while crouched down below the dashboard for his own protection.) A Browder Life Saving Net was carried on the truck to catch victims jumping from upper floors. This aerial apparatus remained in service until 1979.