Uxbridge’s Number 2 pumping fire engine was put out to pasture before we moved here. I’m guessing that would be about 25 years ago. For 15 of those years, it sat in an empty field across from the post office. I used to go there to take pictures of it, nesting amidst wildflower and birds — and in winter, a field of snow.
At some point, someone decided the old truck was a danger. The windows were broken. Rust was eating the body. The town sent the truck to the crusher — but someone who had read my posts about the truck bought it and last I knew, was rebuilding it. I hope it has been resurrected.
Old number 2 was a pumper so it had no ladders, but lots of hoses. There are no fire pumps outside the village. When I think about it, I don’t know if there are pumps in town, either. I’ve never seen one. Out here, it’s all about wells. and of course, the rivers. Not surprisingly, we also have water tanker trucks, too.
A few years back, they built a new fire house in town, conveniently adjacent to the old fire house which was part of Town Hall, built in 1887. The old one was too small for current trucks. There’s also a fire house on our street, five houses distant. It’s not a real fire house. More like a parking garage for fire trucks. It’s not only a place to park them, but it means the fire fighting equipment is not all in one location.
Uxbridge has the biggest and best-equipped fire department in the valley. Since many small towns don’t have a fire department, Uxbridge is the place to call. We have the engines and now, a nice house to keep the engines shiny and ready to go.
The fire chief is a town employee. There are a few others who are full or part time employees. Some firefighters are also police or EMTs who double up, but the majority of firefighters are volunteers. They take their work seriously, even though they aren’t paid.
We owe them a lot.