FIREHOUSES

MONUMENTS

ARTWORK

SLOGANS

KITSCHY

ANTIQUES

FIREMATIC HISTORY

1939 Federal/Fire Apparatus Engineering 500 gpm/200 gal.

This rig has a very colorful history spanning four generations of a firefighting family in West Winfield. In 1939, Mayor (& Volunteer Fireman) Benedict P. Murphy purchased this engine from Fire Apparatus Engineering, a regional builder in Clayton, New York that only produced about twenty fire apparatus.


His son James F. Murphy was tasked with picking up the rig from the factory. Upon being discharged from the military after World War II, James F. was returning home to West Winfield after a four year tour of duty when the fire alarm rang. True to his duty as a volunteer fireman, he responded (having not been home to see his mother in four years) and drove the rig to the scene.


In 1956, during the department’s 50th anniversary, James F. (who was the assistant fire chief at the time) got married and was driven to the church on his wedding day by this very rig. Many years later on their anniversary, their son James G. Murphy (fire chief in 1987-1989 and the current deputy chief) picked up his parents with this very same rig and drove them to the celebration reception.


In 2009, their grandson Firefighter/Ambulance Captain Sean Murphy got married - in keeping with tradition, he and his groomsmen were transported to church on this rig along with a procession of eight other trucks from local departments.


In late 2010, several members of the department were curious if the old Federal would still pump despite being told by “the old timers” that the pump had cracked while it stored outside in the 1950’s-1960’s. They cautiously started the rig, engaged the pump and over time gave it some pressure from a hydrant supply line - while some leaks were detected, the faithful rig pumped like a champ throwing a straight bore stream over the barn behind the firehouse!!


In 2014, this rig will celebrate its’ 75th anniversary. Plans are underway to restore this rig to its’ original look to celebrate this milestone.

Special thanks to Deputy Chief Jim Murphy for providing the “unyque” history of this rig.