(332) Class 325, 4×4, 250 GPM, Front Mount Darley pump and a 300-gallon water tank. Purchased from the US Government WWII surplus in 1946 for $900.The US Government paid $3,910 for the truck. It was in service for 32 years. It was sold for $760 in July 1980. It replaced the Packard. It was replaced by #15 1979 Chevrolet Mini Pumper. Reacquired by the Fire Department in 2012.
|In 1946 the members of the Franklin Lakes Fire Department obtained a 1943 Chevrolet military surplus fire truck. It was purchased for $900 from the US Government. The truck became the Fire Department’s 5th the vehicle. The vehicle’s unit # was 332 but was lovingly called the G.I.
In the 1940’s and 50’s the Borough of Franklin Lakes was mainly a rural community with many fields and wooded areas. The G.I. saw lots of service as a brush fire truck for 32 years. The truck ended its Franklin Lakes service in 1978 when it was replaced by a 1978 Pierce Chevy mini pumper which saw duty till 2005. The G.I. was sold and no record of its whereabouts was kept.
|In May 2012 a gentleman found G.I. in a warehouse in Holden, N.Y., where it was destined to be scrapped. The gentleman felt this was a true crime to destroy a vehicle that was in such good shape. Thanks to the Internet, the gentleman was able to locate the Franklin Lakes Fire Company and contact them about the vehicle. The fire company decided that the truck was a unique piece of history and would be in favor of saving the truck. A committee was formed to inspect the condition of the vehicle. The committee of 5 members took a trek to Syracuse, N.Y. to inspect the vehicle to see if it was in worthy condition. To their amazement, the truck was in astounding condition for a vehicle that is 68 years old.
With the help of Vanderbeck Tree Service’s donation of their truck, trailer and workforce, the fire company was able to bring the truck safely back to Franklin Lakes. Some minor repairs were made. An internet search found the original siren. The original bell had been removed from the truck in 1978 before it was sold. The bell was mounted on the meeting room wall for all those years. The original bell was removed from the wall and remounted in its proper place on the G.I.
The truck is considered a true antique, thus, is maintained is the exact as found condition.