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The Signal “51” Group website has been named IFBA Website of the year by vote of the Website Committee. Group member and webmaster Cody Daniels deserves the credit for this. The website was originated by the late president, Dr. Norman Zaffater. After much time, work and research, Cody was able to break the code and get the site up and running again. Congratulations, Cody.
The biggest news in SFD apparatus was the arrival in mid-May of the new tower ladder truck- Truck 20 at the Port. Station 20 was built by the Port just over 10 years ago. The truck, along with a new Ferrara pumper, cost !.35 million. The port paid half the cost of the 2 units and will pay half of the firefighters’ salary plus half of the upkeep cost of Station 20. The ladder is a rear mount 100 foot with a platform at the tip that can hold up to 5 people. Dual nozzles can flow up to 2000 gallons of water per minute.
The truck is built on the Ferrara Custom “Inferno” chassis a Smeal ladder, like the ones in service in New York City. It is state of the art and a welcomed addition to the SFD.
The new Oskosh Airport crash truck has arrived and will be placed into service by the middle of August. It features a boom and “snozzle” capable of piercing the aluminum skin of an aircraft cabin and spraying foam into the interior. It will be labeled “Charlie 2” and replaces old “Charlie 3”. 3 will remain at the station (21) as a reserve. Charlie 1 and 6 will also remain but there will be only two manned , 1 and 2.
The 2 brush trucks are in service. One at Central downtown and the other at 13. They have pump and roll capability. As of early August had already made 2 runs. They will be crossmanned.
Ex Engine 20 is back from Ferrara after getting partially repainted. The left side and front of the cab was repainted because of peeling paint. The remainder was shined and buffed all the way around. This is a Quality Spartan with overhead service ladder rack, 2000 vintage. It will be sent to Station 12. Previous Engine 12 is now #10.
Previous Ladder Truck 20 is now subheavy rescue ladder Truck 12. The present Ladder 12 will be placed in reserve. The present reserve ladder truck will remain in reserve making the first time in SFD history there are 2 reserve ladder trucks. The old ladder truck in the shop yard has been used for parts, but will probably be sold or put in the upcoming city auction.
Ex engines 6, 10 and 12 will be the 3 reserves, but two or three of the old white (1987-88) Quality Spartans will be kept for additional reserves. The one in the SFD Shop yard will be sold or placed in the auction. Of two being kept as reserves, one has a fairly new motor, and the other has had extensive mechanical work. Of the 6 original 1987-88’s, one will remain for training at the Academy.
On July 1, 2013 the SFD gave retired Fire Chief Dallas W. Greene, Jr. a 90th birthday party at the SFD Maintenance Facility. Shreveport Fire Fighters Local 514 provided a huge fish fry. 500 + attended. Chiefs, firefighters, friends and relatives came. Dallas and wife, Alice greeted everyone. He gave a 10 minute talk and was presented with a silver trumpet with the proper engraving mounted on a wooden base for display. Two large birthday cakes were enjoyed by all. This was a truly fine affair and very fitting for the longest serving fire chief in the history of the SFD.
Secretary, Signal “51” Group
The three new engines are now in service at Stations 4, 9, 20. They were exchanged for the regular rigs April 10 thru April 12. Their Ferrara production numbers are H5169, H5170 AND H5171. Some features: Igniter Custom fire chassis, Cummins 450 hp motor, Allison transmission, seating for 5, Heavy duty extruded fire body, Waterous 1500 gpm pump, side panel controls 1 ¾ “ 100 foot jump line in front bumper well, triple crosslays, deck gun with Akron monitor, 500 gal tank, Federal Q2B Siren, Whelen lighting.
Reassigning present engines to other stations is underway. Engine 4 to Engine 6. Engine 6 to a reserve. Engine 9 to Engine 17. Engine 17 to Engine 13.Engine 13 to Engine 10 and Engine 10 to a reserve. Engine 20 to Engine 12. Engine 12 to reserve . Reserve engines 6, 10, and 12 will join 4 of the 1988-89 Quality Spartans (white). Engine 20 will be a while getting into service at 12. You might have noticed the red paint is gradually coming off the left (engineer’s side) of the rig. Some believe it started by being too close to flames, but most seem to think the body was improperly primed when manufactured by Quality. Plan is to have the left side repainted here or possibly at Ferrara. The other engine transfers should begin within a few days.
Station 10 has a problem with the newer longer engines fitting into the Oneonta Street bay. There is a brass pole (original) jutting out into the parking space. To remove and replace this into another area would be very expensive. The answer was to replace their old rig with one of similar size. Engine 13 was the ideal choice as it was the 5th purchased in the group with the service overhead ladder rack. The first 4 were purchased in 2000 and 6-12 months later this rig was purchased. It has lower mileage and is in very good condition. This engine was presented at a press conference in the now Riverview Convention Center with full TV and radio coverage after it arrived here from Quality..
The city of Shreveport has entered into an agreement with the Port to each pay approximately $700, 00 toward the purchase of a new Engine 20 and ladder tower for the year 2013. On April 9th the city council gave the go ahead for the purchase from Ferrara. The Engine 20 is already in service. Further, the Port agrees to pay 50% of the firefighter’s salaries plus 50% of the Station 20’s upkeep, utilities, etc. In return, the SFD will give the full appropriate response of all necessary equipment to control any fire at the port. A new tower ladder has been ordered and is in production at Ferrara.
Good news for the City of Shreveport, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) will provide 100% of the funding for the new Charlie 3 now on order: cost: $899,202.00. The city was to have paid around $100,000 toward the cost, and get the money by amending part of the 2013 Capital Improvements Project.
Restoration of the old training tower behind the new Central Arts Station should begin within the next 2 months. It will become an apartment for visiting artists and will have 5 levels plus an observation tower on top. It is for out of town people who have an approved project to benefit the arts in Shreveport. It will hold only one person. The first floor will be for publicly displaying the works of art – other floors include a bedroom, kitchen. Work room, and bathroom. Architects are now drawing up plans – the original large heavy wooden door is to be retained, and all floors that were wood will be replaced with concrete and steel. There are stairs, but no elevator! Ribbon cutting scheduled for the first quarter of 2014.
On Sunday afternoon, April 14th the Signal “51” Group hosted a barbecue dinner for firefighters at Station 13 with companies 12 and 18 coming over to share in the food and fellowship. Karl Brummett of Signal “51” Group provided the delicious entrée and all the sides. Signal “51” Group now has 18 members. Four attended the recent IFBA Region 5 Meeting in Dallas. Meet featured tours of 9-1-1. Love Field Crash Station, Fire Academy and demonstration of various units plus shop tour.
Here and there:
Early reports from drivers of the new engines say they steer very easily and drive well. Engine 5 experienced wobbling of a front wheel and was found to have lug nuts becoming loose. It is currently having all wheels removed, the hubs cleaned and repainted before going back into service.
Funding by the $175million bond issue of April 2011 are roofing projects for six stations. New roofs are in place at Stations 9, 4, and 16. Others to be started shortly are Stations 2, 10, and 12. The 3 new engines usually selling for $500,000 each were obtained for $447,000 each, saving about $150,000 which is to be used for repairing, updating and equipping the other fire trucks in the fleet.
The Shreveport Firefighters’ Museum and Signal “51” Group are each tax exempt (501c3) corporations.
Donations of funds for the rehab canteen service by Signal “51” would be appreciated. Donations of funds or old SFD firematic items would be welcomed by the Shreveport Firefighters’ Museum in the SFD Maintenance Shop.
Signal “51” Group
A new Oshkosh "Stryker" "Charlie" airport crash truck is being ordered for use at Shreveport Regional Airport. It will be funded by an appropriation of $775,000 (86.2%) from the Louisiana Department of Transportation Aviation Division and $124,202 (13%) from Airport Reserves. This vehicle will replace the around 20 year old, "Charlie 3" On the new rig will be a "Snozzle", a large pointed nozzle on a boom that can penetrate an aircraft's aluminum skin and spray foam into the interior. There will continue to be two manned "Charlie" trucks with two in reserve. Two older rigs will be sold at auction to help pay for the "Snozzle" feature.
The two new brush trucks received last fall have not yet been put into service. If this is an unusually dry spring and summer, at least one will see active service when brush fires begin. Two new medic remounts from Excellance in Alabama and four new staff cars are due this year.
There are three "Sprints" in service (1,8, and 9). One of the three other cars is available as a reserve. The other two have not yet been given a permanent assignment.
The three new pumpers are due to arrive in late February. They will be very different from the present engines. Ferrara reports manufacture is going to be on schedule. They are labeled as Custom Rescue Pumpers and are on the Igniter Custom Fire Chassis. A very compact wheel base of 180". Power is a 450 Horsepower Cummins diesel. Allison Transmission. The extended medium cab seats 5.
Body is a heavy duty extruded aluminum. Ladders enclosed in body. Waterous 1500 gpm pump, side panel controls. 2 1/2" front jump line in recessed compartment in front bumper. Triple cross lays with aluminum cover - 2 1/2" hosebed preconnect. Deck gun (Akron monitor). 500 gallon poly tank Whelen lights throughout. Federal Signal Q2B Siren. No red line - short backstep. Red and white lights front - blue rear. FDNY red - a close match to the present candy apple red.
Ferrara still takes trade-ins but these bring very little money. Three of the 1987 Spartan Quality pumpers have new motors; whereas at least one of the 1994-96 engines (without rollup cabinet doors) has given constant mechanical trouble, so look for some of the old white 1987 Quality Spartan remain in reserve service.
Truck 20 is in bad mechanical shape and spends most of the time in the shop. This rig should be replaced this year as negotiations with the Port continue. The truck will have no pump, a straight stick ladder, with a platform at the top. (Called tower ladder in FDNY).
The lot planned for the new station on Greenwood Road south of the Independence Bowl has been found to be too small. A lot further west on Greenwood Road near Jewella Avenue is being considered but as of this writing no decision has been made. The new station is to be paid from funds from the 2010 bond issue.
The new Central Artstation (old central) is opening in March, while some offices will be occupied by late January or early February. Cost is 4.5 million - the building was donated by the city to SRAC after their building burned (total loss). The restored building is bathed in floodlights and looks spectacular at night.
The Signal "51" fire buff group continues to give canteen service to the Shreveport Fire Department 24/7. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the group welcomes any donations to help in the purchase of Gatorade, water, coffee and snacks. Please consider a donation to Signal "51" Rehab.
Secretary, Signal "51" Group
The two new “brush“ trucks have been delivered and skid mounts are in place. They are on a Chevy Silverado 3500 HD chassis. Candy apple red color (no white roofs). The rigs have roll and pump capability – 300 gallon water tank, 100 feet of 1 1/2 inch red line, 250 gpm pump and motor combination. They sport a front mounted wench (powered) and are awaiting decals. Since the forest fire season is almost over, they might be utilized for other purposes until next spring.
Shreveport Fire Chief Craig Mulford recently gave a very interesting presentation to the Methodist Men of Broadmoor United Methodist Church ably assisted by Chief Scott Wolverton. The PowerPoint program kept members awestruck as the Chief reviewed each division and the work they do. Most believed all SFD did was put out fires before hearing and seeing this informative program. The group extends appreciation to both for doing a great job.
The maintenance facility is having difficulty securing parts from Spartan, makers of cabs, chassis and bumpers. About half of the fleet (older rigs) incorporate this chassis(Quality Spartans) for instance, when Engine 6 was involved in an accident that severely damaged the front bumper beyond repair, at this writing the bumper had not arrived- was ordered 2 months ago.
At the other end of the spectrum, Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Holden, Louisiana is supplying parts in less than 24 hours from the time the order is placed. An order placed by afternoon arrives around noon the following day.
The contract for the 3 new pumpers for the SFD has been given to Ferrara. These new rigs will bring a few “firsts” for Shreveport. They will be on the Igniter”chassis, shorter with a side pump panel instead of upper midship. The Waterous pump is to be a single stage pump with a 1500 gpm capability - first for SFD. No red line – no tail board as such – only a step. Instead, the outward extended front bumper will have a recessed compartment to hold a 1 ¾ “ fast attack line. The rig will have a flat roof line instead of elevated. Side cabinet doors instead of rollup. 500 gallon water tank. Ferrara cab and chassis. Every inch of space utilized with fire extinguishers and air tank cubicles over all 4 wheel wells. Front light bar will have red and clear lights –rear, blue flashing lights– another first. The motor will be Cummins diesel since CNG has not been approved for fire apparatus. Delivery is expected in February. The apparatus committee will return to the factory in January to check the features and choose a final color scheme and striping. The color most probably will be candy apple red with white roof and a “lightning” stripe on each side.
The Central Artstation (old downtown central station) is changing by the day. The new roof is completed, 4 owls (Phoenix) on the roof, . all front additions in 1970 removed revealing the beautiful art décor of the original 1922 building. Now has 5 overhead front windows with a bay under each. Five front doors, completed front driveway and sidewalk. Exterior paint and trim and flood lights on the Common Street side. Construction on going inside with 12 offices on second floor and a large work room with desks on first floor for artwork. A grant has been given for a nationally known artist and company to construct a large dalmatian painting on a steel sheet. The dalmatian will be displayed on the first floor. Brass poles have been retained. Originally plan was to have completion in August, but now is set to open in February 2013. Delay was caused by the subroof that had to be replaced. Original cost of restoration was estimated at 4.5 million but now has risen to around 6.5 million. This building should look spectacular at night. Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) was given the building by the City of Shreveport.
Secretary, Signal "51" Group
Due to the illness and passing of Signal “51” Co-founder and president for the past 43 years, Dr. Norman Zaffater, Sr. the Corner has not been published for several months as “Doc” was webmaster for the group. Luckily, a new young member, Cody Daniels, has assumed the position of webmaster. Thanks, Cody, for your interest and hard work getting our site set up.
A big thank you to the Shreveport Fire Department for their large presence at the visitation and funeral of Dr. Zaffater. Along with Caddo Fire District 5 and Signal “51”Group members, everyone felt the services were most fitting. Norman’s family is especially grateful to all of you.
On April 27th and 28th, the Signal “51” Group hosted the Region 5 IFBA (International Fire Buff Association) meeting here, as we do every 4 years. Fire Buffs from 4 states attended. Visitors totaled 16.
The new Hampton Inn on Bert Kouns was the headquarters hotel. The first tour late Friday afternoon was the SFD Maintenance Facility and Shreveport Firefighters’ Museum Showroom. Thanks to Chief of Maintenance Gary Foster for giving a most informative and interesting guided tour. In addition to the static displays and antique fire trucks, a new “SPRINT” was on the display floor. None of the 17 people on the tour had ever seen one and it was quite the topic of conversation.
Thanks to Jerry Hope for arranging and hosting the Regional Airport presentations and lunch Saturday morning and early afternoon and to Regional Airport Chief Gary Caskey for making this program possible. Jerry also arranged the ride outs for Saturday night.
Late Saturday afternoon, through the work of District 5 Fire Chief Keith Harris a large program and dinner was held at Caddo Fire District 5. SFD units and firefighters from Stations 19, 20, and 22 joined in the festivities. District 5 gave a demonstration of drafting from a portable cistern with water from a tanker. 78 people were present, including SFD Fire Chief Ronald Mulford and Department Heads from most divisions. An elaborate buffet dinner was prepared and served by Karl Brummett, Signal “51” member from Eldorado, Arkansas, who has a well known barbeque catering place and store there. He had Norman’s picture enlarged and framed for Carol plus other pictures for each of Norman’s children. Thanks so much Karl. Norman’s son, Dr. Norman Zaffater, Jr., wife and two sons were guests and he expressed to all the family’s thanks. Many prizes were given out and a raffle took place
Our group sends thanks to all members who helped with this meeting – Fred McClanahan for 911 tours, Russell Teutch for handling registration, monies and mailouts, Karl Brummett, Jerry Hope and Russell Teutch for procuring food for hospitality room, airport program, and banquet. The beautiful souvenir program booklets were prepared and furnished at no cost by Cody Daniels and his mother with help from our new and youngest member, Jonathan Dean. Robert Blue manned the registration desk for the two days and Bob Woody procured all the plaques and served as Secretary of the Region 5 IFBA business meeting. He also brought many door prizes. Thanks to Father Guido Verbeck for donating the main raffle prize, a beautiful Pierce fleece lined jacket.
Longtime Signal”51” member, Brian Florsheim, Sr. was elected Vice President several months ago, and is now Acting President of the group. Brian worked with the Tourist Bureau to obtain all of the goodie bags and name tags at no cost to the group.
All present 16 members of the Signal “51” Group came together to make the 2012 Regional a big success. Forgive me if I have failed to mention the other group members who worked hard to put on a meet of this magnitude. Of the 10 or so regionals we have hosted here over the years, this was the biggest, and certainly one of the very best! Again, thanks to one and all.
Secretary, Signal “51” Group