I hope everyone has been able to keep cool the last few weeks. It could not have been this hot when I was growing up without air conditioning. In fact the first night I remember ever sleeping in an air conditioned room was my first night sleeping in the station after recruit school in Henrico in February and the window unit AC was on. I brought a second heavier blanket from home for the second night.
Before I talk about my recent trip to the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America (SPAAMFAA) annual convention in Rhode Island, I wanted to give you an overview about SPAAMFAA and why it’s important to support it, if you are able. From SPAAMFAA’s website:
SPAAMFAA is a diverse organization of firefighting enthusiasts who share a passion for new and antique fire apparatus, and the history and traditions of the fire service. Members include: men and women; children and adults; firefighters, retired firefighters, never-been firefighters, and wanna-be firefighters (fire explorers). We have photographers, collectors, historians, and fire buffs. Some members own antique fire apparatus, while many others do not. Some document fires and fire apparatus through photography, while still others collect books, patches, toys and models, and all manner of fire fighting memorabilia. You do not need to own an antique fire truck to join. Anyone with an appreciation for, (or preservation of), the fire service is welcome.
First established in Syracuse New York in 1958, the organization is still based primarily in the United States and Canada, but it has grown to encompass fifty local chapters, and boasts more than twenty-four hundred members living around the globe.
The SPAAMFAA organization consists of both individual local chapters and as an overall national (international) organization. Members may choose to join a local chapter, several different local chapters, and/or the National organization as a whole. Joining SPAAMFAA National does not include membership in a local chapter, and membership in a local chapter does not include membership in SPAAMFAA. Each option provides different benefits. Local Chapters (found in most major metropolitan areas) are the vanguard. They provide face-to-face (and often hands-on) support and organizational resources for fire apparatus enthusiasts living and working in a given geographic area. Most local chapters organize regular meetings and host special events, and their members are also often more focused on documenting fire service and fire apparatus history on a local level.
The SPAAMFAA “National” organization, provides an exceptional organizational network and resources to support the “local chapters.” They also provide an array of benefits and resources above-and-beyond those which are provided by most local chapters, and are also an outlet for those members not living in or near a local chapter.
The ODHFS is SPAAMFAA’s local affiliated chapter that primarily serves the Commonwealth of Virginia but we have many members who live in other states including a large contingent in North Carolina. While there are some local chapters that mandate their members also join SPAAMFAA, it was decided when ODHFS was formed that only our officers are required to be members of SPAAMFAA but all our members are encouraged to join SPAAMFAA.
In addition to the benefits of SPAAMFAA detailed above, members receive the quarterly full color magazine “Enjine, Enjine” and the quarterly newsletter “Silver Trumpet”.
SPAAMFAA conducts two national musters/conferences each year. The following are the musters that are planned:
• Winter Conference, Memphis TN February 21-24, 2024
• Summer Conference York PA June 4-8, 2024 (In conjunction with the American Trucking Assoc. Annual Conference)
• Winter Conference Kissimmee FL March 4-8, 2025
Dues are $30 a year (digital Silver Trumpet) or $38 year (mailed copy of Silver Trumpet). The link to join is: www.spaamfaa.org/members/signup .
If you have any questions about SPAAMFAA don’t hesitate to contact me, Tommy Herman, or ODHFS Central Region member Tom Hooker who is also SPAAMFAA’s Southeastern Trustee.
Now for a quick recap of the wonderful time I had at SPAAMFAA’s summer conference in Rhode Island a few weeks ago. Wednesday thru Friday there were 5 different bus trips to fire museums, fire stations, and historic places. On one of these stops we went to a privately owned restoration shop where I saw an immaculately restored fire truck, a 1925 Ahrens Fox. It was the most amazing fire apparatus of any type I have ever seen or ever will. The owner also had two 1910’s Indy race cars and several other vehicles being restored.
The muster on Saturday had over 100 antique fire apparatus on display and a large flea market area. The work several of us did back on July 1 (plus Gary’s additional work after that day) getting the club’s REO ready to go to Rhode Island certainly paid off as the REO won the judges award for 1920’s vintage apparatus at the muster. Tom Hooker won the longest distance traveled after driving his Segrave from Mooresville NC to RI. George Mill’s was beaten out for the longest distance hauled award by a unit that was hauled from St Louis.
I hope to see you at a SPAAMFAA event in the future.
Also, I just received this from Tommy: We have just learned one of our Northern region members, Brady Grim has passed & his fire memorabilia collection will be sold in an online auction. Check out the posting on the ODHFS Facebook page & pass info on to all of your members. Go to the auction site & you can view the entire catalog and/or register to bid.
The following are events in the region I have been told about. As always, the most up to date statewide list of events can be found on the ODHFS website. If you know of events in your area that you think should be listed, please send them to me and our Webb Chief Jack Sullivan at: ODHFSWebChief@gmail.com
- August 26, 2023 Public Safety Day at Chesterfield County Fair. ODHFS has been asked to have a static display of antique apparatus. Apparatus must be parked in the display site no later than 11:00 AM. Free admission to the fair for all that come on the trucks. Stay as long as you want but officially the safety day part is over at 3:00 PM. Various Chesterfield County departments involved in public safety will be putting on various displays & activities. If you can come, just show up! NO advance notice required.
- September 11, 2023 7 PM Dedication of New 9/11 Memorial Huguenot Public Safety Building, 1959 Urbine RD, Powhatan, VA 23139. ODHFS has been invited to have antique apparatus on display during the unavailing and dedication of a new 9/11 Memorial that has been installed in front of the station. Any apparatus on display must be in place by 6 PM. Anyone planning on attending with an apparatus must notify Floyd Greene, FloydPowhatan@gmail.com, 804-347-9016 by September 10th so sufficient parking space is set aside for your unit. If you have any questions contact Floyd.
- September 11, 2023 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb at Richmond Raceway. Sponsored by the Richmond Flying Squad. Gates Open at 0700 and Opening Ceremony begins at 0840. ODHFS has not been asked to provide vehicles on display but if you want participate in the climb or support those that do, more information can be found at: WWW.RVAFlyingSquad.com/Richmond-9-11-Stair-Climb/
- September 10, 2023 Richland’s Creamery Cruise-In. 460 Cox RD, Blackstone 1-4PM. Car & truck show, craft vendors, music, food and ice cream available. No registration required for this free event. For more information contact Ricky Williams, email@example.com, 804-691-3754.
- September 16, 2023 Big Truck Day Brandermill Community Sunday Park 1000 – 1200 ODHFS has been invited to have apparatus on display at this event. If you can attend, you need to be in place by 0945. Notify Tommy Herman if you are planning on attending.
- September 30, 2023 23rd Annual Southern Knights Cruisers Veterans Car and Bike Show Richard Bland College 8 AM-5 PM. More information and the registration form at their website. You need to be registered to be judged.
- October 14, 2023 ODHFS Annual Muster – Farmville VA. Event details Here! Registration Form Here!
- October 14, 2023 Goochland Fire and Rescue Fire Show Goochland High School 5 – 9 PM. They would like to have ODHFS units on display during this event. (Maybe you could stop by on your way home from the Farmville Muster). For more information contact Chief Eddie Ferguson firstname.lastname@example.org 804-556-5304.
804-347-9016 (leave message)