DYER — The Dyer Fire Department is asking for the community’s help to restore a historic fire truck.
A GoFundMe page has been created for the department’s 1939 Seagrave engine that worked as the first-line apparatus until the early 1970s when it was officially removed from active service.
Since then, the department has used the engine for parades, funerals and other community events.
Time has taken its toll on the historic engine and now it is in need of serious repairs to keep it road-worthy, said Dyer Fire Chief Thad Stutler.
“It’s old and needs help,” Stutler said.
“It’s a great tool to showcase our department and people have loved it over the years because it is so old. You don’t see engines like this anymore. We’ve done a good job of taking care of it, but like everything else as it gets older, it needs some repairs.”
Many parts needed to restore the fire engine are no longer available, Stutler said, and will need to be fabricated or machined. Those parts include the brakes and motor.
Stutler said the fundraiser was started because the department’s budget only covers repairs for active first-line response vehicles and equipment currently in service. There is no funding available to repair the department’s antiques.
So far, the fundraiser has raised $170 of its $30,000 goal.
The engine is an important piece of history for the fire department, Stutler said. When it was in service, it fought fires all over Lake County, pumped water from flooded roads and was used to pull the water line on U.S. 30 under the railroad tracks.
“It’s important that people see how things have changed. We should do everything we can to preserve as much history as we can, not just for the fire department, but everywhere,” Stutler said.
“It’s important to remember where we came from and how we got to where we are now.”
Donations can be made to the department at www.gofundme.com/DyerFireDepartmentAntiqueTruck.