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‘Antique’ ladder truck to remain with Coraopolis for parades

Photo courtesy Coraopolis Fire Chief Charles Spencer; This 1949 La France ladder truck will remain with the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department as a parade piece. Pictured here with Santa Claus, the truck will be squiring Mr. Claus around the area on Dec. 22.

By Elizabeth Perry

Coraopolis has ceased its attempts to sell the volunteer fire department’s 1949 La France fire truck, discussing the matter at the Dec. 7 workshop meeting.

Originally, they had hoped to sell the old ladder truck, which is still functional, in order to finance future truck purchases, Manager Ray McCutcheon said.

Fire Chief Charles Spencer said the La France truck is, “basically an antique.”

There had been some interest, and a potential buyer from West Virginia had viewed the truck, but ultimately no one had ventured to place a bid.

“If it was a pumper, anyone would buy it,” said Councilmember Robb Cardimen at the workshop meeting.

At this point, the truck still belongs to the borough. In a phone call the day after the meeting, Cardimen, the assistant fire chief for Coraopolis, said the truck has been in Coraopolis for 73 years, was purchased new in 1949 and was repowered in 1980 when air brakes were installed, as well as other upgrades.

The truck had been in use until 2005 and now is largely a parade piece. At this point, the firetruck is no longer certified to fight fires.

“The department has a ladder truck from 2005, one from 2011, and they just purchased a new one in 2022,” Cardimen said.

“The new [pumper truck] cost the borough $573,764.83 and the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department did donate a portion of the $143,441.21 down payment,” said McCutcheon.

At the same meeting, Cardimen put forth the only bid on the Public Works Department’s 2003 Ford F-550. Recently, the truck was advertised for sale on the Coraopolis website.

“It can no longer be used for snow plowing because of the condition of the frame,” McCutcheon said.

The Shade Tree Commission had been using the truck and said the amount to fix it up, $1,300 to make it ready for inspection, had eaten up a good deal of the commission’s budget.

Cardimen abstained from the vote and purchased the nearly 20-year-old Ford F-550 truck for $652.


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