When the Gong Rings
A Fire History of Charleston, Illinois

141.  FIRE LOG 1967

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New Ladder Truck;  Wilb Walker Grocery Burns

Upper Photo: 
This is a view of Charleston's $54,000 fire
truck with its hydraulic ladder extended to a full
IX feet. The initial test of the ladder was made
Monday afternoon by Jack D. Hawn, field engineer for the American LaFrance Company,  makers of the truck.
Having never climbed a 100 ft. ladder before didn't stop two local firemen, Bud Hildebrand and Dick Craig, from scaling the 100 ft. hydraulic ladder. The
pair quickly climbed the
distance under the watchful eye of Mr. Hawn. Upon returning to the ground the two remarked that though
they felt some fear at first, after being up for a while
the initial apprehension.

 

Lower Photo:
Hildebrand, who led the climb, stated that his biggest concern came when the huge ladder started to twist back and forth as it was turned a full 360 degrees.  Craig remarked that even though there was a
good view his biggest concern was how it would be handle a hose and fight a fire from such precarious
position.   The truck was purchased with funds provided by the City of Charleston and fire protection funds from Eastern Illinois University.
The truck was 45 1/2 feet long and capable of pumping 1,000 gallons of water per minute. Mel Taylor said it will be taken on all general alarm fires. The fire-engine-red truck was positioned between the two white trucks and was designated the No. 2 truck. The station would not have room for the '38 Boyer. It would be retired to the city water "works for pumping duties by the city water department, and eventually sold at auction.