Wauseon welcomes home 1951 GMC firetruck

Wauseon Fire Department welcomed home their former truck from the 1950s and 60s on Thursday afternoon (WNWO).

The fire truck that helped the Wauseon Fire Department battle blazes from 1951 until the mid 1960s...is back.

On Thursday, the 1951 GMC Rescue Truck returned to where its life began.

"It's great. Just to kind of bring back some history for the fire department from days past. This is the last red vehicle that Wauseon Fire Department had because ours are all white. It's just neat because a lot of the older guys in town, when it was an all-volunteer department, they raised money out of their own pocket and from the community to buy its truck," said Chief Rick Sluter.

Though what exactly happened from the mid 1960s until now is not completely certain, one former fireman, Lloyd Graf, did sell the truck to a Swanton man when it was time to upgrade.

"Oh, I have a lot of memories. We got into the rescue bit a little bit. At the time, we had two ambulance services, so we could just gradually ooze into the rescue. Oh year, broght a lot of memories back. A lot of big fires that went into that."

Tom Towers in Tacoma, Washington was in the process of restoring the truck, when he discovered "Wauseon Fire Department," on the side.

He is originally from Stryker, Ohio, and was familiar with Wauseon. The WFD was able to provide all of the original documents, and so Towers elected to donate the vehicle back to the department.

So he contacted Wauseon Fire, and it was picked up and brought back for the fire department last week.

Now, the renovations will begin, and the WFD is ready to show it off.

"It will be a public relations vehicle for the Fireman's Association that we use for many of the parades we go to, and to tote Santa Claus around town when he shows up. So hopefully, we'll have it ready by next year for that," delcared Chief Sluter.

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