Firegeezer.com: Monday Morning — Take a Deep Breath
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Monday Morning — Take a Deep Breath
Recently I was poking through the pages of a newly-discovered (to me, anyway) website for the Extra Alarm Association, the fire buff organization for the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, area. They have an excellent website that includes a lot of Twin Cities FD history and hundreds of old photographs of past apparatus and fire stations. I just finished reading their history of their Gamewell street telegraph systems. Warning: Don't click on that link unless you have time to get carried away looking through the extensive files.
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Bill Schumm is a retired fire captain. During his 32 years of active firefighting service he responded to more than 30,000 emergency incidents. Bill has been involved with the fire and rescue service in one form or another for 50 years.
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Back to my report on what I found there in a recent surfing through the website, on the pages for the Minneapolis station rosters I found this unusual piece of apparatus listed as a Smoke Extractor unit:
It is mounted on a 1926 Pierce-Arrow truck cab and chassis and was built by the Minneapolis FD shop. Personally, I have never heard of a firetruck dedicated to smoke extraction, but then again I am not that well versed in firetruck history. The title of the unit pretty well explains what it does and a look at those large tubes gives a hint on how it does it. But that's all I can glean from the photo.
Apparently Smoke Extractor One was an important part of the FD's fleet because here is another photo showing the heavy-duty Hoover mounted on a 1952 Ford chassis. It is the same set of smoke-sucking equipment that was re-mounted by the FD shop onto the new chassis:
This leaves a few questions in my mind such as, how did this thing work? When did the MFD stop using it? Was it really very effective? When they packed up and left the scene, did they leave one of these signs nailed to the front door?
I'm also wondering if they keep it parked next to the Board-Up unit? Perhaps one of our readers can help us out with these probing questions and let us know how these things worked.
For now, we need to make sure our own things work and get this equipment checked out. I'll get the coffee started and then we'll meet back in the day room.
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