Pocket July 4th Parade
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What does the "3541" number mean?
The City of Sacramento assigns a number to all city vehicles for inventory and maintenance purposes. This "3541" represents a City owned vehicle from approximately the 1970s.
While surfing the Internet an image of a fire engine for sale came up. Intrigued by the notion that someone could actually purchase a fire engine, I searched for more websites that contained used fire apparatus. A site dedicated to antique fire apparatus contained an "Apparatus For Sale" section. It was within this section that this ad appeared:
"FOR SALE: in Yreka CA; 75 Seagrave ex Sacramento City lime green pumper. 8v71 Detroit/Allison. We would like to liquidate this as it has been sitting in the weather for 3 years. $5500 530-842-XXXX Bob (12/04/06)"
I called the telephone number and inquired whether the fire engine was still available. It was. I then made arrangements to view the truck and take a number of photographs. I then spoke with the fire equipment dealer and made an offer. He accepted and the Seagrave was now on its way back home to Sacramento, California.
The First Look
Many hours have been spent searching for parts and accessories as well as reconditioning the existing ones. While it is not economically feasible to perform a complete frame-up restoration, every effort was made to preserve the truck's systems and operation as it would have been when it came out of service in 2002.
Firefighters spend their career saving lives and property. They use a myriad of tools and specialized apparatus in their quest to serve the public. In doing so, they have a special attachment to their equipment. It is with this in mind that I have dedicated my efforts to honor these men and women of the fire service by preserving and displaying a piece of their history.
The public often does not have an opportunity to see fire apparatus and its specialized equipment up close. Therefore, I have undertaken the task of offering to display this vehicle to civic groups, schools, fire agencies and other interested parties at no charge. It is not, however, for hire or rent, or used for any commercial activity.
Why is it Green?
Actually, the color is officially "Lime-Yellow." During the 1970s a study was conducted to identify a color that would stand out among other vehicles and reduce the emergency vehicle accident rate. The color Lime-Yellow was chosen by departments throughout the country following this study. As the years passed some departments returned to the traditional red color for their apparatus. Better and more extensive emergency lights for vehicles has also reduced the collision rate. There are, however, fire departments throughout the country that still maintain the lime-yellow color scheme for their apparatus, while still others are painted blue, green, yellow, white or a combination thereof.
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In 1990 Engine 16 was refurbished after fifteen years of service. A number of changes and upgrades were then undertaken that included painting the cab interior industrial gray from its original Lime-Yellow color, additional diamond plate was placed throughout the vehicle, and a new set of front-facing large and small red warning strobe lights were installed. The top revolving beacon was replaced with a 4-lamp North American Signal model. A close look at these photographs will reveal the changes and modifications that were made after the Seagrave factory delivered the fire engine to the City of Sacramento. The rear compartment, or bay, was reworked to become a wye line hose lay feature. Additional pressure gauges were installed -- one to reflect the booster hose pressure. The factory originally supplied two hose reels. Only the left-hand hose reel remains. The back rear-facing warning lights were re-outfitted with round Whelen strobe light heads. They have since been replaced with Whelen revolving beacons. In the bottom middle photograph Engine 16 was pumping during a fire at 16th and J Street, across from the Memorial Auditorium and directly in front of what was once Dalton Motors in 1976. The Seagrave's life began at Station 3, then Station 6 and ultimately finished out its service at Station 16 on July 2, 2002, according to the station's logbook. In the bottom right photograph there are just a few of the modifications made to #3541, many during the refurbishment in 1990.
Tidbits and Notes about Engine 16
Cesar E. Chavez Middle School
Downtown Sacramento Veterans Day Parade