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Fire Engines Photos

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Firebird 125
Fire Engine Photos
No: 37194   Contributor: Terry Yip   Year: 1980   Manufacturer: Other   Country: Canada
Firebird 125

Vancouver B.C. had two of these 125' Firebird aerial platforms in service at one time. This was the first to be delivered, and is a 1973 year model. Like the first truck, the second Firebird was delivered by the Calavar Corp. in 1976, and both were mounted on the Hendrickson chassis. This truck was photographed well into it's service life, around 1980.
Picture added on 31 January 2014 at 08:35
add commentComments:
Have you been able to identify who made the chassis.

Added by Steve Prosser on 31 January 2014.
My local volunteer department, Manhasset Lakeville FD on Long Island, also had an identical unit. Ron Henderson photographed it and posted it on this site.

Given that it was the second aerial truck in a community of 8, 500 population - with around two or three structure fires a year - it was not used at any fires I know about in the 26 years that I lived there. But it was used once a year to decorate the village Christmas tree!

It was really too big for our mainly suburban residential streets, and we had no need for a 125 foot tower. The town had no buildings higher than eight floors, and we had a 100 ladder at the same station, with another three miles away. Most of our neighboring fire departments had a Mack-Baker 75 tower and / or a 100 foot ladder, and these worked just fine. The Firebird was much more expensive, slow, clumsy and none too reliable.

Eventually, it inevitably became a bit of a laughing stock in other nearby departments like Great Neck, Port Washington, Roslyn, Glen Cove and Garden City.

Later I have learned that only a few of these were ever sold and that they were not very much liked by the firefighters who had to use them.

Added by Rob Johnson on 31 January 2014.
Rob, it may interest you that this was the only one in New York State. There were only about 30 made over 15 years 1969-1984.Philadelphia, PA. got the 1st made, and Alexandria, Egypt got the last.
I know of two that were converted to utility use after FD retirement.
Sacramento, Cal. had 4 in service at one time, the FD bought 2 used.

Added by Warren W. Jenkins on 01 February 2014.
Thanks Warren - once again, you fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge. It seems these beasts were the answer to a question very few people were asking!

Added by Rob Johnson on 02 February 2014.
Hi Terry! The F&Rs in Gothenburg, Sweden, once owned 1 of this on a 4-axled Scania.BUT, when it came back to Sweden, the turntable was to near the back of the chassi!On a visit by members of the swedish FBS, the maxheight was 30 meters(100 feet)`cos if they got problem with it, so the person in the gage could been reached with a Tl!Later, it was removed,
and a Bronto was installed!

Anders F. Sweden.

Added by on 21 April 2015.
The French marine fire service who serve as the municipal fire department in the city of Marseilles also operated a 150 foot (46 meter) Firebird on a very unusual American half cab 6X6 FWD chassis.

It was acquired principally to help protect the enormous oil terminal in this major port city, and was understandably touted as being the tallest aerial fire truck in Europe.

I have no knowledge of what ultimately happened to it. There is a photo of it on the website.

Added by Rob Johnson on 20 March 2017.
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