Kearney’s First New Pumper Returns Home

The City of Kearney purchased it’s first new fire truck in 1967 which supported the 1957 Ford pumper 102 and was used primarily for city fires. The truck was initially called 104, and later changed to Eng 3. In December of 1997 the 1967 Chevrolet Central Fire Truck was donated to the Stet Volunteer Fire Department.

The truck originally purchased for approximately $15,000 served the community until the Fire District was formed in August of 1990 which it was then placed in reserve status when the 1990 Ford E 1 pumper was purchased. The pumper saw action during the flood of 1993 when it was used to assist the Riverside Public Safety department where it pumped water from a warehouse area for forty eight hours continuously. It was also in service during the 1996 Missouri State Fair Fire Department operation.

The truck served us well in its time, but its age, limited pumping capacity and limited personnel carrying ability couldn’t fulfill the districts growing needs. When the 1998 Pierce Quint vehicle was ready to be delivered the 1967 was declared surplus. The decision to donate, rather than sell the pumper to Stet came as part of an arrangement in which Stet would receive the 1967 and donate their old pumper to the second runner up. Since the value of our pumper was minimal, our Board of Directors felt this arrangement would benefit two departments that were just getting started. The Board felt it was very appropriate to help provide a direct benefit in helping them protect their communities.

David Pratt, President of the Kearney Firefighters Association received a call the middle of May from the Stet Department offering to return the truck back to us since they have acquired a newer model vehicle. On Wednesday, May 18th, they traveled to Stet and drove the truck back home to Kearney. Since the Association has the first two vehicles that started the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department and since this was the first new vehicle purchase for the department they felt it would compliment our “Preserving Our History” program with having our first three original pumper trucks.