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 1969 Kenworth 1750-GPM Pumper 
 (Apparatus #319)




The Last "Fire Boss"...

In 1969, the Seattle Fire Department ordered FIVE new Kenworth pumpers, and two tillered
aerial ladder trucks, pulled by Kenworth tractors.

Of the FIVE engines, two were equipped with 3000-GPM "Stang" monitors, two were standard
pumpers, and ONE was equipped with a 1500 pound "Fire Boss" Super-K dry chemical unit. 
Each of the five pumpers was equipped with a 1750-GPM pump and 400 gallon water tank and
were powered by a 350 h.p. eight-cylinder Detroit Diesel engine, with an Allison "Power-Shift"
six speed semi-automatic transmission.

 

          
           

This final "Fire Boss" unit joined five others purchased previously in 1967, bringing the total
to SIX, positioned strategically throughout the city.  These units were capable of expelling 1500
pounds of "Super-K" dry-chemical extinguishing agent through a fixed turret, mounted behind
the truck cab, or through two 150' 1" rubber hose lines, mounted on reels.  The intent of these
units was the extinguishment of large flammable liquid fires, such as gasoline tankers, or
small aircraft.

The practice of firefighters riding tail-boards of engine companies and the running-boards
of ladder trucks was as old as the fire service itself.  This practice started in the horse-drawn
era, and lasted well into the 1980's.  But after the tragic death of a Seattle firefighter who,
in 1984, fell from the tailboard of an engine company while responding to an alarm, the SFD
took steps to reverse this century-old trend and relocate firefighters into "crew-cabs" where
they could ride in relative safety.

The first attempts at this proved successful.  By removing the Dry Chemical systems, the
"Fire Boss" units had ample room for fabricating crew-cabs and access to the crew-cab area. 
The first rig to be retro-fitted with a crew-cab was returned to its regular company assignment
on October 31, 1986 ... the company was Engine 5 on Seattle's waterfront and the rig was
App 319.

Because of limited space, some of the older engines presented more of a challenge for
designers, but regardless, by 1990, subsequent retro-fits were completed, bringing the total
to 16, as well as 15 other engine companies that were ordered with crew-cabs as standard
equipment.  Since that time, all fire engines have been manufactured with enclosed seating
for the entire crew ... a nationwide safety standard.

App 319 remains an example of the Seattle Fire Department's innovative efforts to
provide improved safety for firefighter crews, even before crew-cabs became mandatory.

         

           

         


               

                                                Historical Photos 

                  App 319  with original "Fire Boss" unit  (Engine 5)  1973-1986

 

           App 319 with "Fire Boss" turret in raised position  (Engine 5)  1973-1986

 

                      App 319 with original "Fire Boss" unit  (Engine 5)  1984

  

                                 App 319 with Crew-Cab  (Engine 5)  1987

 

                        "Fire Boss" demonstration - Seattle Fire Department
                                Turret and both hand-lines in operation
 


                 

                                 ~  Apparatus 319 Company Assignments  ~ 

                                           1970 - 1973                      Engine 27 - 1000 S Myrtle St
                                           1973 - 1986,  Jun              Engine 5 - 925 Alaskan Way
                        Jun,             1986 - 1986, Oct 31          In shop for modifications / crew cab
                        Oct 31,        1986 - 1987, May 20          Engine 5 - 925 Alaskan Way
                        Jun 1,          1987 - 1992, Apr 22           Engine 31 - 1319 N Northgate Way
                        Apr 22,        1992 - 2004                       Reserve
                        May 26,       2004                                 Sold


                 

                                                   ~  The Stations  ~ 

                              

                                          SFD Fire Station #27 (1970-present)

                                              App 319  (Engine 27)  1970-1973 

 

                                     

                                                  SFD Fire Station #5 (1963-present)

                                                      App 319  (Engine 5)  1973-1987 


                                            

                                                        SFD Fire Station #31 (1975-present)

                                                            App 319  (Engine 31)  1987-1992 


                 


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