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Antique apparatus at fire convention

Published September 22. 2011 05:01PM

A highlight of the 132nd annual Pa. State Firemen's Association convention, being held in Kidder Township, is tonight's open house events at the host fire companies in Albrightsville and Lake Harmony.

In Albrightsville, the open house from 5-10 p.m. features live music and the Coors Light Girls.

The Lake Harmony open house, which is 7-10 p.m., has a fire expo by the Pierce Apparatus Corporation, the Firehouse Girls, and the Gooseneckers, a fire company fraternal group which will be marching between the fire company and Shenanigans.

Tomorrow and Saturday, there will be a Fire Expo at the Galleria in Lake Harmony, with a highlight being the display of antique apparatus.

One of the vehicles on display will be a 1860 model hand-drawn Wurt Knox, owned by Steve Lilick, assistant fire chief in Lake Harmony. The vehicle was on display last week at the New Jersey State Firemen's Association Convention and captured a first-place prize.

Another vehicle will be an 1830s model Platt/Button, piano wood box style engine. This vehicle, made of mahogany with white pine inlay, is on loan from the Wainwright family. It's wheels are solid oak.

Lake Harmony Fire Chief Ralph Lennon said the two suction hoses on the vehicle are original. The fire hose was pulled to the fire by a separate hose cart.

Tubs were filled with water by a bucket brigade.

The name of the vehicle comes from William Platt, who invented the first hand pump that allowed for a continuous stream of water, and the Button Fire Engine Company of Waterford, N.Y., who adopted the engine style.

This vehicle was pulled and pumped by up to 20 men. Lennon said this was a dangerous detail since men would often get hit by the brakes during the pumping, breaking jaws and teeth.

The expo is from 3-11 p.m. tomorrow and beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

An opening ceremonies program will begin at 9 a.m. tomorrow, during which the Somerset Fire Company will officially be named the Grand Marshal of this year's parade.

Somerset Fire Company hosted the state convention in 2001, when the terrorist attacks on America occurred. A large parade was scheduled that year in Somerset but the parade and convention were canceled due to the 9/11 attacks.

Somerset was a first responder unit to the crash site of Flight 93, the hijacked jetliner. The hijacked plane was believed bound for either the White House or Capitol in Washington.

An awards assembly in conjunction with the convention will be held on Friday.

The grand finale, the parade, will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Harmony Fire Company. Judging of apparatus will be held in the morning at Pocono Raceway, then parade formation will occur at Big Boulder.

Four high school bands in Carbon County - Jim Thorpe, Lehighton, Panther Valley and Weatherly - will be participating in the parade.

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