Firetruck History
 
1957 Fargo Salvage Truck
“The Bug”
Served Windsor, Ontario
 
In the spring of 1957, a new Fargo D-500 three-ton cab and chassis was purchased by the Windsor Fire Department to replace a 1940 Ford which had served as the city's Salvage No. 1 for the previous 17 years. The compartmented rear body was removed from the 1940 Ford and a steel canopy roof was welded into place above it. By late summer, the redesigned body had been built by WFD Chief of Apparatus Mike Koehl and was secured to the new Fargo chassis at a total cost of $4,039. Like its predecessor, the new truck was lettered Salvage No. 1 on its cab doors with “Windsor” painted on the sides of its broad hood. “The Bug” was placed into service at the Pitt. St. Headquarters station on September 30, 1957.

Serving this Riverside Dr. East alarm on October 18, 1963

“The Bug” was known for its flying manpower – literally. Firefighters had a reputation – some might say expectation – to show off its impressive power-to-weight ratio. Many people have recalled memories of this unit racing down Riverside Dr and building speed leading to the heavily piqued Peabody Bridge where “the Bug” would actually take flight! Firefighters and historians have confirmed a picture (believed to be in the Walkerville museum) which shows the truck airborne, with all 6 wheels off the pavement.

Former WFD firefighter Bob Quimby served as driver on “the Bug” and shared this story:
"We were going on a run one night with a rookie on the back, we were just about flying down the road and just before we got to the address they called us off. We shut down our lights and siren and continued on back to the fire hall. When we got there, the rookie came around to my door with a terrified & frightened look on his face and asked me if I had a pilots license. I just told him to get back on the back and hold on."

By 1970, the WFD had purchased a new front-line Salvage truck (also a Fargo). For the next 14 years, “the Bug” would be relegated to reserve duty with the nickname fading into history. Its fate was sealed with the delivery of a big lime-green Ford cab-over heavy rescue delivered in 1984. After 27 years on duty and being on its third Chrysler V-8 engine, “the Bug” was retired and sold to a local collector who gave it a new paint job and proudly shows it throughout Southwestern Ontario and Michigan.
 


“the Bug” as it looks today.

Historical information courtesy of Walt McCall, Bob Quimby, Reg DeNure and www.windsorfire.com.