By BETH SIEBER
MAPLETON - This is a story about the little engine that could. The engine, a green 1980 Mack CF, which belongs to the Mapleton Fire Company, has been chosen by Code 3, a California based company that produces collectibles, to be replicated as part of a special release for St. Patrick's Day.
The Mapleton Fire Company acquired the 1980 Mack CF, also known as Engine Rescue-2, in 1997 after it had served over a decade with the New York City Fire Department. While in New York, the truck was the second on alarm to go to the World Trade Center.
The engine was purchased after being removed from reserve status and disposed of by the city of New York and, upon it's arrival in Mapleton, was refurbished to deal not only with fire calls but medical emergencies and motor vehicle accidents as well.
Some of the work included new tires, pump gauges, couplings, nozzles and land ladders. A local industry, U.S. Silica Corporation, also aided in the vehicles makeover. The company installed a deck gun on the unit and made various brackets for holding equipment. It also made an aluminum, diamond plate extended bumper for storage and deployment of the "Jaws of Life." This placement allows the Jaws of Life to be used instantly.
To add style to the vehicle, driver's side "high side" compartments and a "dresser drawer" type of roll out compartment under the main hose bed were added at an Amish welding shop in a neighboring county. A white. New York hose bed cover was fabricated, not only to allow for additional storage space for equipment, but as a tribute to the truck's previous service in the "Big Apple." These additions are what made Mapleton's fire truck stand out from the crowd.
Jennifer Kauffman, Code 3's marketing manager, explained the process. " Collectors (of our products) send us photographs of what they believe would make good models, which gives us a very extensive library to chose from '' ,- this was a special release for St. Patrick's Day, the color certainly helped, because it was one of only a few green trucks in our library," she said.
Kauffman also talked about the graphics on the Mapleton truck.
"The graphics were so interesting," stated Kauffman. "They really made it stand out."
Once a vehicle is chosen, the fire department must give the company permission to replicate it. Depending on the quality of the pictures given to the company, more photos might be necessary to capture all views and to make sure nothing has changed. A representative from Code 3 was sent to the fire company to take additional pictures.
According to Kauffman, the truck was chosen last summer. It usually takes 8-12 months for the replicas to be produced.
Michael Corbin, chief of the Mapleton Fire Co., was excited about the whole process. "We're such a little town and to be selected is such a honor. It's such a morale thing," he said.
The trucks, which are limited edition and numbered, sell for around $39. They will be available near the end of this month. Only 1,500 trucks will be produced. Anyone interested can purchase theirs directly from Code 3 website or by calling 1-888-635-2333. The website can be accessed through a link at www.mfd-f2.com