APR343 Full rear view 2013 Portugal
The former Utility&Lighting unit, operated (under call sign 9058) by the Neptune Hose Co#5 of the City of Burlington,NJ FD until October 2006, is now privately owned and preserved in Portugal. After some minor repairs and a re-equipment process, aimed to convert the rig into a multi-purpose rescue squad, it will be displayed in parades and benevolent events under the new call sign APR 343.
The conversion intends to re-create a typical Portuguese personnel and equipment truck of the 6o’s decade and also to render a permanent tribute to the 343 NYC Bravest killed in the line of duty on 9/11. APR stands for Auto Protecção e Reforço (Protection and Reinforcement Vehicle), a category that does not exist anymore but that has always provided rather unique pieces of apparatus in Portugal (frequently FD own mechanical shop conversions).
The vehicle is a Ford C600 Thibault (bodywork also by MORYSVILLE) with a 5 900 cc gasoline engine. With a gross weight of 9,5 Ton and sitting up to 11 men it carries a fixed 12,5 Kw ONAN generator as well as a large variety of specialized tools and gear (mostly ancient items) enabling the rig to perform (with gear currently on board): scene-illumination, all types of land and water rescue, EMS, salvage, special fire-fighting, haz-mat containment, crew protection, animal capture, rehab and other jobs.
This amazing vehicle was special-design ordered in 1967 by the Chews Landing,NJ FD and later sold to the West Collingswood Heights,NJ FD where, as recently reported, it often performed a First Responder task along with a FD ambulance. In the early 90’s (probably) it was sold to Burlington, NJ. According to new Owner’s availability, to always check in advance, it can now be visited in Portugal (near Lisbon, the capital City).
Current picture reflects the final stage of re-equipment for preservation in Portugal.
Picture added on 18 March 2013 at 12:41