Old Betsy, as she has been affectionately known for over 88 years was only the 2nd motorized fire apparatus purchased by the City of San Marcos. Bearing Registration No. 5728, Old Betsy was shipped out of Elmira, NY on September 15, 1926. Equipped with both a dual stage pump and an original chemical tank, this apparatus is considered by collectors to be very rare. She remained in service until 1969 and today serves as a striking reminder of the department's rich history.
Leadership San Marcos, Class of 2015, held numerous fundraisers and raised a very impressive $16,000 to get Old Betsy back on the road again. Jason Brown, a full-time Roanoke firefighter, was commissioned for the project, which included installing a new Chevrolet 350 crate engine, automatic transmission, and rewiring the entire apparatus. Additionally, San Marcos Fire Department Engineer, Greg Mechler, restored all of the wooden side-boards, tailboard, and hose bed. Wood felloe, Danny Ivey, rebuilt the original wheels, including making 48 new wooden spokes by hand. Garland firefighter, Charlie Small, constructed a period correct, trussed beam ladder.
Fire Chief Les Stephens presented a beautifully framed photo of the 1926 American LaFrance fire engine as a token of thanks to Leadership San Marcos Class of 2015 representatives, Jim Swisher and Teresa Lauderdale.
Additional thanks go out to Jason Brown, Danny Ivey, Charlie Small, COSM Fleet Services Department, and the dedicated members of the San Marcos Fire Department!
Challenge Coins were sold as one of the many fundraisers to help raise the funds. They were beautiful, full color custom designed bronze coins with the San Marcos Fire Department Logo on the front and picture of Ol' Betsy on the back.