This is a 1961 Ward LaFrance Firebrand pumper. The Firebrand was the first commercially available, cab-forward, apparatus built by Ward LaFrance. It was introduced in 1959. Less than 100 were built. Firebrands had either a Waukesha or International engine. Pump was either Waterous 750 or 1000 gpm.
About this creation
The Firebrand featured full width cab with seating for six and was available as an open or canopy cab model. Technically the Firebrand was a cab-over, not a cab forward. The engine was located between the driver and the officer as is common now. The balance of the crew could sit on a bench seat in the rear of the cab.
The largest orders for Firebrand pumpers were the 16 that were delivered to FDNY in 1960 and five to Washington DC. The Washington DC units were unique in that they had International grills even though they had Waukesha engines.
Production of the Firebrand was short lived. Ward LaFrance introduced the distinctive and famous Ambassador cab-forward pumper just three years later. The Ambassador replaced the Firebrand in the product line. The Ambassador is best known as Engine 51 of Emergency! television fame.
Ward LaFrance Truck Corporation of Elmira Heights, New York, was active in the fire apparatus industry from 1918 to 1979. In 1975 the holding corporation that owned Ward LaFrance purchased the venerable Massachusetts fire apparatus manufacturer Maxim and consolidated the production of the two companies. In mid-1979 Ward LaFrance closed down. BFD552@Gmail.com