Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks accepted an award during the opening ceremonies of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association’s (TFCA) Annual Conference Monday at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro for the preservation of the department’s 1892 Ahrens steam fire engine.
Bill Dundas, President of the Society for the Preservation & Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America, (SPAAMFAA), upon the recommendation of the East Tennessee Fire Historical Society, awarded Murfreesboro Fire Rescue a Certificate of Recognition for their dedication and outstanding achievement for restoring and preserving antique fire apparatus.
“We are very proud to receive this esteemed honor,” said Chief Foulks. “We would like to thank the SPAAMFAA for recognizing the hard work and dedication that went into this process.”
The 1892 Ahrens steam fire engine was the City of Murfreesboro’s first piece of firefighting equipment. After the steam fire engine was taken out of service, it was stored in one of the sheds at Cannonsburgh Village for several years. The Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department wanted to have the historic engine restored for use as an educational tool, but also to be displayed at parades and other community events. Due to its fragile condition, the engine had to be lifted by a crane and transported via a flatbed wrecker to Mid-South Emergency Equipment, Murfreesboro, TN to undergo the restoration process.
Many laborious hours were spent welding, restoring and fabricating metals, painting, repairing the pump, wood working, brass polishing, etc. The restored steam fire engine was unveiled to the public at the Oaklands Mansion in Murfreesboro October 25, 2017, along with a brand new 100-foot aerial apparatus.
A member of the East Tennessee Fire Historical Society (ETFHS) was shown the Ahrens steam fire engine while attending the Tennessee Fire Chief’s annual conference in Murfreesboro, July 2017, and nominated the City of Murfreesboro fire department for this award.
SPAAMFAA is an organization of over twenty-four hundred members and over fifty Chapters organized in 1958 in Syracuse, NY. SPAAMFAA members are located all over the globe, but primarily in the United States. Ownership of an antique piece of fire apparatus is not a requirement of membership. An individual or organizational membership in SPAAMFAA brings you our award winning quarterly publication Enjine! Enjine! plus a subscription to the Silver Trumpet, the inter-chapter newsletter and a copy of the Membership and Apparatus Roster and one copy of the Sources Guide. SPAAMFAA Archives consists of thousands of photographs, books, and fire service periodicals and materials on the design, manufacturing of fire apparatus, parts lists, repair manuals and fire apparatus blueprints. The collections include information on hand-pulled (manual), horse-drawn (steam) and motorized (gas & diesel) equipment from the smallest details to the complete operating machine. In 2015, the SPAAMFAA Archives collection was moved to a new space in Kansas City, MO shared with the Antique Truck Historical Society (ATHS).
The East Tennessee Fire Historical Society (ETFHS) is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Tennessee. The mission of ETFHS, a chapter of SPAAMFAA, is to stimulate and cultivate interest in the restoration, preservation, and operation of fire apparatus and firefighting equipment associated with the fire service; cultivate interest in the history of the fire service, firefighting, and fire prevention; and to assist and cooperate with organizations dedicated to similar purposes.