City firefighters use their spare time to restore their 1933 engine, “Old Joe”
Feb 21, 2018, 5:04 PM | Updated: 9:33 pm
PLEASANT GROVE — There’s always a sense of excitement at a fire station. Not knowing when the next call from dispatch is going to come in, and this winter the firefighters have a project to keep busy.
“It’s a huge part of our history, a part of what we are today,” said Captain Justin Whatcott, a firefighter with the Pleasant Grove Fire Department.
Old Joe is a 1933, two and a half ton Dodge Brothers flatbed truck that was converted into a fire engine by Pleasant Grove volunteer firefighters in 1933, and served the community for decades.
“When I first started, it was one of those things we brought out for parades,” said Lt. Jake Larsen.
Now, Old Joe is in pieces.
“I have always wanted to restore Old Joe, ever since I started here” Larsen added.
Because even though he was retired, after 85 years as a working fire engine, Joe was starting to fall apart.
“I think most of us know it was going to be a big project and a lot of work,” said Larsen.
The firefighters do the work during quiet times at the station.
“Any chance we get on duty, when there’s no calls, things like that,” he said.
During the past three months, they have disassembled Old Joe and now are beginning the restoration, according to Captain Whatcott. All to honor Pleasant Grove’s earliest firefighters and fire truck.
“Everyone is pitching in and using their knowledge and we are learning as we go. Shine it up, make sure everything is mechanically sound and put it back together,” he said.
Whatcott said the firefighters hope to have Old Joe restored by the end of the year, preserving an important part of the city’s history and helping to make Old Joe as good as new.
“We’re sentimental people, this means a lot to us that have worked here for a long time.”