Historical Society’s ‘amphibious engine’ close to operational

Medford, Ore.–The Southern Oregon Historical Society is getting closer to bringing the “Amphibious Fire Engine” to operational order.

Volunteers working whenever they can have made progress on the engine such refurbishing the windshield wiper, restoring the fire extinguisher and rebuilding the carburetor.

However with any 70+ year old vehicle, parts are hard to come by and new problems are being discovered as old ones are fixed.

“Once you find and fix something, you’ll find and have to fix something else,” said Rick Black, a member of the historical society. “We are taking two steps forward and one step back but we are making progress.”

The society is looking to make repairs on six of the tires and tubes which won’t be possible unless they find more funding. After budget cutbacks in the county starting in the 1990s, most of the society’s money comes from volunteer contributions making funds hard to come by consistently. Members are hoping the community can help provide enough to get the fire engine in working order.

Black believes they are very close to having the engine operational soon and are planning to showcase it at the Pear Blossom Festival in April.

If you’d like to donate or view the truck in-person, volunteers work on the truck every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the society’s garage on the corner of Biddle and Lawnsdale Road.

You can also learn more about the truck and how to donate here

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