I am brand new to this group however, I have been a lifelong fan of TAGS.
There has been little to no mention on TAGS of a Fire Department in Mayberry. So, I have decided to "create" the Mayberry Fire Company via a Facebook Group of the same name (not yet published)
In real life I own a 1967 Ford fire truck (photo attached) that I am in the initial process of having re-lettered for the fictitious Mayberry Fire Company. I know there are dozens of Mayberry Patrol Cars in existence but I have only seen a handful of old fire trucks lettered up as a Mayberry rig.
My plan is to depict the Fire Company as being formed when Mayberry was created and to have fictitious accounts of its history up to 1967. So basically everything about the Fire Company will take place in the year of 1967 and the past.
Just for fun I am asking for any suggestions or input you folks may have to help "organize" the Fire Company. What I am looking for in particular are:
Founding Members: (Jud, Mayor Pike, etc)
Active Members: ( I don' want to use Andy, Barney or Warren as members)
Ladies Auxiliary Members: (Aunt Bee, Helen, etc)
Suggestions for the Fire Company door seal and uniform patch. I was thinking of something similar to the basic emblem on the patrol car.
I want to make this a fun project and include fellow TAGS fans to make it seem like the Mayberry Fire Company could fit right into TAGS.
Thanks for any input, suggestions and support you can offer.
I have Gomer as a member of the Fire Company as the chief mechanic.
Also I recall in an episode of Gomer Pyle, USMC that Gomer said he used to run a mile to the fire station from Wally's when the alarm sounded. He said he rang the bell on the truck. Unfortunately my truck doesn't have a bell!
I was thinking the town would have a station, but what if there were small volunteer stations in parts of the county of Mayberry form by some of the people in those area. Then there could also be state forestry rangers with their forestry engines that would responds in parts of the county. I lived in North Carolina as a child from 1954 to 1963 and heard if you wanted the town fire dept. to come out to your place you had to pay a fire tax. If you didn't you got the state forestry service and their apparatus. I know ambulance wise, the funeral homes were your ambulance provider. Then when the Dept. of Transportation change ambulance operations then you could have a vol. rescue squad or it becomes part of the vol. fire dept. Maybe rescue vehicles Civil Defense small panel 4x4 vans from the 50s to 60s. Over the years the things would change so Mayberry town and county could become a combination system of career and volunteer stations to handle fire, ems and rescue.
Hi Darrell -
My project has been taking a little longer than I planned due to other things taking precedence. I appreciate your comments and insights regarding the fire service in NC back in the 50s-60s. I know in the episode with Jubal Foster's barn fire Andy mentioned the "Volunteer Fire Brigade" Personally, the term brigade usually refers to a private fire protection at factories or hospitals. I want to stick with "Mayberry Volunteer Fire Company" which is more typical for small communities. I have decided on the department being formed in 1871 following the town burning to the ground. The department will start with a horse drawn steam fire engine, a horse drawn ladder wagon and a horse drawn hose wagon. The apparatus fleet will be updated to gasoline power shortly after the turn of the century and apparatus will be replaced every 20-25 years and the last apparatus will be my 1967 fire truck. The "story" of the VFD will only go through the end of TAGS and into RFD finally stopping around 1973. I already have the apparatus selected and, with some assistance, I am using Photoshop to alter them to Mayberry VFC. I have the membership roster complete and now I'm working on "creating" some incidents for the front page of the Mayberry Gazette. It shouldn't be too much longer before I am able to publish my Mayberry Volunteer Fire Company on Facebook.
I did a Yahoo search under images and found a Mayberry chief car which is a Chevy station wagon also there are some computer generated pictures of the Mayberry Fire and Rescue and the Sheriff Office. One is a scene of a accident with a car and deer and a Mayberry training center. Also there are maps of the town and county on line. I also check info on the Return to Mayberry movie for other info.
I had been wondering about the fire apparatus dealer that most of the state would have bought fire apparatus from back when I lived there. The town I lived in bought American LaFrance. Now being Mayberry is on the North Carolina and Virginia border I had a thought that fire apparatus could have been bought from the Oren Fire Apparatus Company in Roanoke VA which would not have been to far away. I would guess a fire apparatus built on Ford chassises with Oren bodies. Maybe later they bought a Oren on a Duplex Cincinnati cabs and later Hendrickson cabs as new units were needed.
Darrell it just so happens that my fire truck is a 1967 Ford-Oren!!!! I think that will be the perfect combination. I am having a small "Mt. Pilot Ford" decal made to place on the truck. The fire truck previous to my 67 Ford will be a 1944 Chevy-Oren and prior to that a 1920'sModel T Ford-local built combination chemical and hose rig. The first rig will be a horse drawn steamer and a local built ladder wagon.