GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A 208-year-old pumper called the nation's
first "double-deck" fire engine is back in working order at the
Greensburg Fire Department Museum after getting a complete
restoration.
The pumper was built by Pat Lyon in 1794 for the Pittsburgh
Volunteer Fire Department and was designed to fight fires with a
dozen men. It was retired from the Pittsburgh fire department in
1845 and the Greensburg Hose Company No. 3 adopted it until 1876.
But for the past century, the pumper has been rotting away at
the Pat Lyon Hose Company, at a department store and, in recent
years, at the Greensburg museum.
Harvey Waugaman, a member of Greensburg Hose Company No. 6, said
he pushed for the restoration effort after meeting an old friend
who knew a group of Amish craftsmen capable of restoring the
pumper.
According to a museum document, the Pat Lyon pumper was the
nation's first "double-deck" fire engine.
The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County paid the bulk of
the $47,000 cost of the project. The same craftsmen are now working
to restore another 177-year-old pumper named the Good Will.
While the Pat Lyon was still in commission, firefighters would
organize a bucket brigade to fill the pumper's copper basin with
water. Four men pumped water from the front and another four pumped
from the back, shooting water as far as 60 feet.
One man was responsible for operating the break, another steered
it and two others pulled the pumper with a rope, said Tom Gressman,
a Southwest Greensburg firefighter.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press