Historic Hood River
There are answers to all sorts of questions hidden in our archives. Chief Damian of the Hood River Fire Department was recently contacted by the owner of a 1937 Kenworth fire engine which thought might be “Engine 3” of the HRFD. We have many fine Joe Young images of a 1937 Kenworth which was the source of great pride when it arrived in town, but I was confused to see in our images it had the number “5” on the side. Back in 2011 Jim Gray suggested the “5” might be for “Apparatus 5” which was also “Engine 3”, and today’s image shows he was correct. The 1937 Kenworth (right) is labeled both “Eng 3” and “App 5”. Eng 5 (left) is also labeled App 10. This image may not be the key to deciphering hieroglyphics, but it does verify the HRFD was using two numbering schemed at the same time.
An “engine” puts water on a fire, while a “truck” brings ladders and other equipment to the site, so don’t make the mistake I did and use the terms interchangeably! To complicate matters there are specialized trucks like our tower truck, with its telescoping ladder which allows fire fighters to put water on fires in tall buildings from a safe distance, or brush trucks, which can help fight fires off road in vegetation. All of these engines and trucks are considered fire apparatus. The chief explained some departments (like Hood River) number fire apparatus sequentially, while others use the station number: Engine 3 would be from Station 3.
The sequential numbering system is a gift to historians, as it helps place all of these machines in the proper era. Checking the archives at HHR I see we have seen images of Engine “0” (our unnumbered horse-drawn chemical engine), Engine 1, Engine 2, Engine 3, and Engine 5:
Here’s Engine “0” (1904 chemical engine)
Here’s Engine 1 (1920 American LaFrance)
Here’s Engine 2
Here’s Engine 3/Apparatus 5 (1937 Kenworth) with Engine 1 (1920 American Lafrance) and Apparatus 4 (a Ford truck).
Engine 5 is in today’s image.
And now we know where HRFD Engine 3 is today.