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Tuesday, 14 April 2015 00:00

New Hampton, NY Fire Department Restores Antique Fire Truck for Parades

There’s nothing like a parade: the bands, the floats and the dignitaries. But it’s the convoy of fire trucks that seems to impress folks the most. New Hampton Fire Company, like many in the area, has a truck specifically for parades.

Donna Kessler- Times Herald-Record

The New Hampton, NY antique fire truck on display after being restored.


There was a back-room casual discussion about how much fun it would be to have a special fire truck to use in parades. Rob Albino, owner of Eagle Auto Body and Eclectic Cars in Middletown and president and lieutenant at the fire company, knew just where to find one. Albino found the 1960 American LaFrance Pumper in Pine Island.

Members of the fire department decided to do the assembly and disassembly themselves. A bunch of the guys got together and every trim piece, bumper, fender - everything - came off. Don Sherman was the leader with the reassembly, while Anne Casullo, Sue Gray and Jim S. Gray Sr. also enjoyed having a personal touch in refurbishing the truck. The truck wasn’t in too bad shape; a little rust in the compartments needed clearing up, a new coat of paint and that special touch by some passionate firemen were all it needed.

Kevin Calnan and Melissa Fimognari, owners of Maaco in New Hampton, did amazing work on the body and paint. James’ Window Tinting in Middletown applied the lettering, Rosen Glass in Middletown replaced the glass and Sandy’s Bumper Mart in Syracuse rechromed the bumpers.

After about 5 years it was finally finished and Albino drove it in its first parade, the Middletown Fire Parade, in 2014. George Lattimer, 97, one of the oldest active members, sat in the passenger seat proudly ringing the bell. “It was a great day,” said Albino.

Donna Kessler- Times Herald-Record

George Lattimer, 97, the oldest active member of the New Hampton Fire Department, sits in the driver seat of the company's restored 1960 LaFrance at last year's Middletown Fire Parade. Rob Albino, president and lieutenant of the company, played a role in obtaining the truck. Albino also has a fire truck of his own.


Albino also has a fire truck in his collection. On his Eclectic cars showroom floor sits a 1924 Model TT that is all original right down to the wooden spoke wheels.

“That’s how I came to desire it,” Albino said. “I traded a car for it.”

Abino just did a little mechanical work. It has a hand crank and an electric start.

The ’24 is a three-tank chemical fire engine. A bottle is inserted in the water tank. When arriving at the fire a hammer lever breaks the bottle and a chemical reaction and pressure occurs and then you can operate the hose.

As far as racing off to a fire, that might not be possible since the Model TT doesn’t even hit 50 miles per hour. But Albino doesn’t plan on fighting fire with it. He is saving it for parades.


Donna Kessler is the writer of the “My Ride” feature that appears every Monday in the Times Herald-Record  in Middletown, N.Y. and every Sunday in the Pocono Record of  Stroudsburg, Pa.,  Visit or  visit the “My Ride” page on Facebook.  Email


We would like to thank Times Herald-Record for permission to reprint this article.

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