Rockwell looking into re-acquiring town’s original fire truck

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

ROCKWELL — The Rockwell Board of Aldermen voted on Monday to allow the town’s fire department to re-acquire the town’s first fire truck, currently in a private collection.

The 1953 Ford truck would be used as a parade truck and used in events such as National Night Out and Touch-a-Truck.

The truck is in the collection of Anthony Lynn, who recently died, said Rockwell Fire Chief Tim Linker. Lynn’s wife Emilia spoke with Linker and asked if the town would want to purchase the fire truck and quoted a price of $4,000.

“Inquiring on that, (Lynn) has passed away, but his wife still has all the property. Well, she was consolidating them and trying to get rid of a lot of it, so she called me and said, ‘Would you have any interest in having your truck back?’ I said, ‘Most definitely,’” said Linker.

The town sold the truck for $5,000 to Lynn’s cousin Tony Corriher approximately 25 years ago, Linker said, who then sold it to Lynn. He also noted that the truck is still in working condition.

“There is nothing that has been done to it. When we sold it, originally, to Tony Corriher I kept all of the old flashlights and stuff like that off of it and it’s still sitting at the station. So basically, we can bring it back, put that stuff right back on it and it will look just like the day it left,” said Linker.

Linker did point out that the truck had suffered some damage during its run as the town’s only active fire engine, when it was parked too close to a house fire on South Cherry Street.

“It warped the bubble and it froze the red light on top. It burnt and blistered the paint on the hood. It didn’t blister it enough to damage it, but you can see where it has been polished out and tried to clean it. I probably saw it a year ago and cranked it up, and it needs a good bath and cleaning because it’s been sitting in the shed but it still runs,” said Linker.

Linker said that once the truck has been cleaned and is ready, he wants to have the truck visually honor Hugh Bost Jr. and Ralph “Tony” Misenheimer, two former Rockwell firefighters that were instrumental in bringing the truck to the department. Both Bost, the former police and fire chief for the town, and Misenheimer, a former officer in the fire department, died last year.

The money for the truck will come from a general account that the department has, which currently stands at approximately $17,000. After the discussion, the aldermen voted unanimously to approve the purchase.