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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

Ferrum VFD's first fire truck returned
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Staff Photo by Morris Stephenson: A welcome home committee from the Ferrum Volunteer Fire Department ignored a drizzling rain to pose with the departments first fire truck, which had been at the Roanoke Transportation Museum. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Danny Withers, Haley Ledbetter, Sonya Ledbetter and Lisa Shively. Standing on truck are Chief Darryl Shively, Lee Yount and Morris Ledbetter.

Friday, March 18, 2011

By MORRIS STEPHENSON - Staff Writer

"Old Red" has finally come home to the Ferrum Volunteer Fire Department.

The name could apply to the department's first fire truck, which was put into use in 1958, the year the department received its charter.

While research is still being done on the truck, it is believed to have been built between 1942 and 1946. And it apparently came from the U.S. Government's military surplus supply, perhaps used by the Navy.

Morris Ledbetter, a member of the FVFD, said the department received a call from Bev Fitzpatrick, director of the museum, saying the museum would like to "donate back" to the department its first fire truck, which had been on display at the museum.

"The department jumped at the chance to get the old truck back," said Chief Darryl Shively.

Ledbetter took a "low-boy" trailer to Roanoke Friday and loaded up the the truck for its return trip to Ferrum.

Ed Goode and Leo Scott, charter members of the FVFD, agreed that the truck was the department's original piece of firefighting equipment.

Just what the future holds for the truck isn't clear at this point. The firemen all agreed they would like to see the vehicle restored, if it is affordable for the all-volunteer organization. All of the old truck's equipment has been stripped, for starters.

They also want to do more research to learn more about the truck, especially what year it was built. Also they would like to know where, who and how the truck was used before it went into the surplus.

"There is a lot we still want to learn about the truck and its history," Shively said.

"It would be nice if we could restore this truck like the Rocky Mount department did with its first fire truck," Ledbetter said. "Right now, we have no idea about how much this would cost, if we can find equipment to replace all that's missing and who could do the restoration."

"Right now, we're just happy to have it back in Ferrum," Shively added.

 
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