Preserving the History of the Abilene Fire Department for Future Generations
The Old Primero Historical Foundation of Abilene is pleased to announced that the Foundation has assumed the responsibility for oversignt in the restoration of Abilene Fire Department’s 1952 Ladder Truck No. 1. In private hands for many years, the old truck saw service at Station No.1 beginning in 1952. Over the years, it served the people well. If this ladder truck could talk, it would tell the stories of Abilene firefighters who served Abilene during difficult times, saving lives and property while risking their own lives.
The restored truck will link our people back to the early days in Abilene after World War II and to the firefighters who served our community. Together with oral histories, photographs, and documents, the truck will be a teaching tool to demonstrate the value of service to generations of our children and their families.
Help us bring the Ladder Truck No. 1 back to life. Help us to save the history of the postwar Abilene Fire Department and people who served our community. Click on the link below and partner with us by making a contribution to our Old 1952 campaign. Tell your friends and family about the restoration project. Share the links for this webpage and the Old 1952 campaign. Help bring Ladder Truck No. 1 back to the streets of Abilene and bring its stories to life.
Funding the Restoration Project
Any funds raised over the goal will be gifted to the Abilene Fire Department for use in maintaining Old 1952 and restoration work on other historical vehicles in the Department.
With most of the body work completed, the remaining restoration needed includes the engine and transmission, wheels and brakes, undercarriage assemblies, and the non-metal assemblies above on the main working structure.
When the restoration is complete, Ladder Truck No. 1, “Old 1952,” will be gifted from the Foundation to the Abilene Fire Department. No government funds will be used for the restoration. The citizens of Abilene will bring the ladder truck back to life.
Old Primero Historical Foundation’s Contribution to Education
With the citizens of Abilene raising the funds for the restoration, the Foundation is committed to producing and donating the education program for use with Old 1952 as a teaching tool for the Abilene community. The education program includes components as exhibits and other versions for programming activities :
- Create an oral history interview program for post-World War II firefighters to collect memories of serving in the Abilene Fire Department and their family life in Abilene during the 1940s and beyond. These interviews will form the basis for the videos and documentary films that will be produced for the educational program for Old 1952.
- A Day in the Life of a 1955 Ladder Truck Firefighter documentary
- Abilene Community Scenes and Life in 1955–a 10-minute documentary
- Truck Tools and Equipment video stationed on the truck that describes the equipment use and how it works (7 video shorts, using small portable flat screens, to be stationed at various places on the truck, each on a subject relating to specific equipment and tools associated with the ladder truck)
- How to become a firefighter in 1955 (two versions: a video short for the exhibit and a stand-a-lone 10-minute documentary for programming and incorporation with speakers)
- Fire School for New Firefighters in 1955 (two versions: a video short for the exhibit and a stand-a-lone 10-minute documentary for programming and incorporation with speakers)
- Fire Fighting and “Old 1952” in the 1950s (two versions: a video short for the exhibit and a stand-a-lone 10-minute documentary for programming and incorporation with speakers)
- Surviving a Fire: Safety Tools for the Firefighter (two versions: a video short for the exhibit and a stand-a-lone 10-minute demonstration documentary for programming and incorporation with speakers)
- From Factory to Abilene: Building a Ladder Truck in 1951 (two versions: a video short for the exhibit and a stand-a-lone 10-minute documentary for programming and incorporation with speakers)