Note: This review is presented in two chapters: Squad History and The Review to improve the time it takes to load the articles over the Internet.
When I received this latest Diamond Plate Series release from Code 3 Collectibles I opened the box, unpacked Squad 61, and stared at it for a solid hour. I could not come up with the words to describe this masterpiece! Two days later, I am still trying to find the words. However, I must complete this review. No matter what I write, NOTHING can describe the magnificence of this 1:32 scale model from the number one Fire / Rescue manufacturer in the world (Code 3 Collectables was voted the 2004 Manufacturer of the Year in a recent FireEngine.net poll).
On July 1, 1998, Engines 18, 61, 252, 270 and 228 were designated as Squad Companies and assigned to the Special Operations Command of the Fire Department - City of New York. The Safety and Inspections and Service Command started interviewing for full or long term light-duty Captains or Lieutenants to work the Command of these newly formed companies. The positions offered "flexible work schedules, choice of vacation, and a chance to expand your knowledge".
On August 1, 1998 these Squads became operational. Squads are equipped with Ladder Company tools and are trained and equipped to operate either as a Ladder Company or Engine Company. They respond to their assigned fire alarm boxes. In addition, they respond to 10-75''s (all working hands) and multiple alarms. Additionally, they will also be Haz-Mat Technician Units, equipped with second apparatus and equipment for response to Haz-Mat incidents.
According to FF Mike Martinelli of www.FDNYtrucks.com, the first Squad 61 was a 1988 Mack CF. They got a second apparatus at the same time, a GMC Maxi Unit GM 98008. This was shortly followed by a Seagrave Pumper 1000 GPM in April 1999 .
In 2000, they took delivery on a 2000 Seagrave Squad Pumper. Unfortunately, in 2003 they came to an intersection at the same time as another apparatus and both rigs collided. The body from the rig was placed on the chassis of a 1992 Seagrave Pumper (ex E231). It is now a backup apparatus.
Finally, the Seagrave Pumper 10000 GPM (#SP00034)
we see today.
Squad 61 is quartered at 1518 Williamsbridge Rd in the Bronx.
The New Seagrave SQUAD 61 Arrives
"I can assure you, the heart and soul of
this truck is
On November 24, 2003 the employees of Seagrave handed over the keys to a all-new Commander II Rescue Pumper to the firefighters and officers of SQUAD 61. This new apparatus offers the latest in technology and was dedicated and put into service by the Fire Department of New York.
However, there was something even more special about Squad 61 ! The 360 employees of Seagrave, along with the 4,736 citizens of Clintonville, WI which is the home of Seagrave, raised the $340,000 it took to build Squad 61.
Seagrave vendors made generous donations, and local businesses and farmers donated food for potluck meals, chili cook offs, a pork barbecue, bratwurst fry and an ice cream sundae fundraiser. Additionally, Seagrave and city businesses sold replicas of a bronze commemorative medallion displaying New York City landmarks and the words, “Dedicated to New York’s Bravest 9/11/01". This medallion was placed on the cab front of all 54 Seagrave fire trucks manufactured to replace the trucks destroyed on 9-11.
"We are presenting this new Seagrave pumper to the New York fire department on behalf of Seagrave, our employees and the citizens of Clintonville," said Hebe as he gave the keys to Fire Commissioner Scoppetta. "The firefighters lost on 9/11 were more than faceless names - many had walked our plant at Clintonville and visited our community. They were more than customers - they were our friends," Hebe added. "The employees of Seagrave wanted to show their respect for and appreciation of the heroism exhibited that day. This truck is the result of their commitment to that goal".
Hebe commented that Seagrave waited two years to present the unit to New York because, "first, we went to work immediately to build new trucks to replace those lost on 9/11, and secondly, we didn't want this to be just any truck. Together, with the FDNY, we designed a new truck, adopting the latest technology in fire apparatus construction, to put together the new standard 'big city' fire apparatus."
Herbe said "Fire trucks have a heart and soul. They know that their principle task is to ensure that the crews who run them return safely to quarters every time. They're built to tirelessly support firefighters in their mission to protect their communities. I can assure you, the heart and soul of this truck is committed to protecting the crew of Squad 61 every day until retired."
The murals are the highlights of this apparatus. Squad 61 is the only fire apparatus in the United States to have an American flag and an eagle on both sides of the apparatus. For the mural design, Seagrave enlisted the expertise of Bob Marx of RJ Marx, Inc. Seagrave told Bob they were donating a truck to the FDNY and wanted to incorporate a "Solid Patriotic Theme" in the truck's graphics. Bob presented them with the graphic we see now. Seagrave President Hebe added the words "Never Forget" to remember the friends they lost on 9-11. RJ Marx, Inc. also created the graphics on FDNY Ladder 10, which was another Code 3 Collectibles release.